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Outline qf Social Psychology 



Under Ike Qeneral MUareUf of 

GARDNER MURPHY 



An Outline of 
Social Psychology 

MUZAFER SHERIF 


toUh an irdrodmHon by 

GARDNER MURPHY 



Warper is Brolherat Pitbliahers, New York 


AN oaTLTNB OS' SOCIAL PSTOnoiOO? 
Cop^righi, 19i8t hg Harptr & BnOtm 
Prints in iha VnUeA States qf Ameriatt 
All riffhte n iiu baA an nemed- 
No pari of the hook may he reproduoed an^ 
matiner uhalMmer vitkout wiUen permatim 
except in the eaie ^ hri^ guotatione emhodiei 
M mtiftrf arlidee and rmeue. For iiformalion 
addnes Qarper & Bnihen 
G-Y 



Contents 


EdUor^a Introduction 
Preface 

1. Introduotion 

Social Psychology — A. Word on Perspective — Current 
Issues and Social Psycliology 


ix 

xiii 

1 


Part One, Motives 

S. The Oeneral Problem of Moiivea in Relation to Social 
Psychology 9 

The Importance of Motives in Controversies over Hu* 
mon Nature— Basic Motives (Drives or Instincts) Are 
Biogenic Needs — Approach to and Necessity for a List 
of Basic Needs — ^Emotional Motivation — ^Learned or 
Sociogenic Motives — Gener^ Orientation in the Psy- 
chology of Motivation— Methodological Hemarks Sug- 
gested by the Poi*egoing 

3. The Place and Effects of Biogenic Needs in the Life of 

the Individual 50 

The Child’s Behavior First Dominated by Biogenic 
Needs — ^Effects of Motivation os Revealed by the Ex- 
perimental Approodi 

4. The Effeeta of Deprivation at Hie Human Level {Indi- 
vidual and Social) 06 

Effects of Prolonged Deprivation — ^The Effects of Dep- 
rivation in Social Life 

Part Two. Groops and Norms (Vaiubs) 

Introduction. , 98 

5. Properties of Group Siiuations in General 98 

Giwd Situations, Their Negative and Positive Effects 


Contents 

and the IKse of New Norms— Experimental Demon- 
stration of Group Effects by Lewin and HU Associates 

fl. Effects oj Membership and Other Bejermce Groups 1^2 
The Effects of Membership vs. Outside Groups and 
Situations— WiyteU Study of the Street Corner Boys — 
Disintegration of the Group— The Impact of Function- 
ally Related Out'Groups and Situations — The Effects 
of Reference Groups on Attitudes and Attitude Change 
—Attitude Development as a Function of Reference 
Groups: The Bennington Study 

7, The Formation of Group Standards or Norms 156 

Hypothesis to Be Tested— The Autokinetic Effect, Its 
Possibilities for Our FrobUm — The Rise of Stondards 
or Norms in Actual Social Groups (Groups in Social 
Isolation) 

8, The Formation and Effects of Concepts 163 

Some Effects of Concepts— Concept Formation 

9, Attitudes 

Man's Socialization Revealed Mainly Through Atti- 
tudes and Conforming Behavbr— Some Principles at 
the Basis of Attitudes— Relevant Facts at the Basis of 
Attitudes— Perceptions, Judgments, and Other Major 
Phenomena Take Place Within Refei'ence Frames — 
Differential Effects of Structured and Unstructured 
Stimulus Situations 

10. AUihids Formation and Change SS8 

Experimental Production of an Attitude — Change and 
Perpetuation of Attitudes— Attitude Studies and the 
Psychology of Attitudes 

11. Ego-lnoohemenis S 48 

Ego a Genetic Foiination — ^Regressions and Break- 
down of the Ego Under Given Situations— A Char- 
acterization of the Developing Ego— Ego Motives— 
Ego-Involvement as a Factor in the Regulation of 
Basic Motives— Diverse Kinds of Ego-Involvements— 

Some Illustrations of Ego-Misplacements 

Ego-lnvcdvmenU in Personal and Group Bdationships 288 

Ego-Involvements in Personal Relationships— Ego- 



Contents vii 

iTLvolvGments in Group Relationships— Ego-Involve- 
ments and Groups — ^Mass of CoDununicntion and 

Ego-Involvements 

13. Adolescent AUiiudea and Identifications S15 

Adolescent Problems and the Social Setting — ^The 
“Adolescent Spurt*" and Its Psychological Conse- 
quences — ^Direct and Substitutive Reactions of the 
Adolescent in Satisfying and Establishing Himself 
Anew — ^Adolescents in the Established Social Setting 

14. Social Distance (^Pr^vdiee) S33 

A General Picture of Prejudke — ^The Usual Social Dis- 
tance Scale in the United States — ^The Individual and 
the Social Distance Scale — Psychological Leads Sug- 
gested by the Foregoing Material — Central Factors 
That Need Focusing in Social Distance Studies 

PaBT TnilBB. IlTDIVIDtJALa AND SoCIAIi CHANGE 
Introduction S67 

15. The Effects qf Technology 309 

Contact With Modern Technology in Five Turkish Vil- 
lages — Substantiation from Similar Isolated Localities 
in America, Japan, South Africa, and Mexico— Effects 
of Technology at a More Complicated Level 

10. Mm in Critical Situations 401 

Behavior in Critical Sitiistions — Crystallization of 
New Values in Great Social Movements 

Paht! Four, Individuai, Ditfbiibncbs in Social Reactions 

17. Individual Differences in Social BeacHons 427 

No New Principlea Needed — Samples of Variations in 
Social Reactions — Individual Variations in Relation to 
Their Appropriate Reference Scales — ^Role of Individual 
and Social Factors in Determining a Trait at a Given 
Time — Functional Belatedness of Different Phenomena 


Name Index 
Subject Index 


407 

472 




Editor* & Introduction 


TO THOSE WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THE BXTRAORDINABT TBANB- 
formation of social psychology in recent years, it will seem a 
trifle absurd that 1 should write an introduction to Muzafer 
Sherif. To him, more than to any other single person, is at- 
tributable the whole manner of approaching social psychology 
which characterizes the present period. Nevertheless, he has 
asked me to say a woL*d, and as a friend who has looked on with 
admiration I cannot do otherwise. 

It seems appropriate to refer to Sheriffs contribution to social 
psychology under three heads. First, he has tau^t us that 
social behavior springs largely from the way in which the indi- 
vidual pei'ceives his world; that behavior analysis without an 
analysis of individual &amea of reference, individual habits of 
social perception, is a study of shadows ^ose deeper substance 
is likely to be lost; that the dynamic, integrating principles 
from which coherent social behavior springs are in the first in- 
stance principles regarding social perception. "What a society 
does when it molds individual into membership in the group 
is first of all to insist upon his learning to see the world in one 
way rather than anoUicr. From the systematic study of social 
perception — ^tlie ways of viewing the world in terms of one^s 
gi'oup memberships — follow the beliavioral principles and all 
the other principles witli which the analysis of group life is con- 
cerned. This much was made dear in Sheriffs Fsyokoh^ of. 
Social NormSi published over a decade ago. It remained, how- 
ever, to systematize and extend these conceptions, and to show 
their adequacy to supply the whole brood basis for a systematic 
social psychology. This luslc the present volume undertakes. 

The role of wants, needs, deprivations, imperious biological 
demands, was noted in his earlier work but subordinated to the 
analysis of perceptual fields. In the present volume, the de- 

ix 



X Editor's Introduction 

termining role of the life of feeling and striving is much more 
systematically considered, with intensive use made of those 
studies of hunger, fear, affection, and other compelling forces 
which drive the individual forcibly into this or that type of in- 
terpretation of his own social situation. The volume, while 
Tr ) f>Trin g no usc of traditional instinct theories, lays a firm dy- 
namic foundation for the study of cognitive phenomena. 

From this conception of idie nature of social pm’ception 
follows the need to study intensively the role of group member- 
ship — class membership, national m^bership, etc. — ^in his- 
torical and in contemporary social trends; to ffnd how the fact 
of group membership gives structure to individual points of 
view, and what the objective characteristics of the resulting 
group behavior patterns me. We find ourselves confronting 
the larger social aggregates, and the factors whicli today ore 
whirling them into ever more confused, violent, and unpre- 
dictable forms. In a crisis situation, Sherif tells us, we may 
begin to understand these factors which, at the ^'choice point," 
may make all the difference between one and another type of 
social evolution. One begins, in fact, to realise that the study 
of histoiy becomes lordly a study of crisis points, or choice 
points, the inteipretation of which may well lie largely in the 
direction defined by Sherif s analysis. If so, this kind of a social 
psychology might be the ticket of admission into a valid his- 
torical perspective for the understanding of our present world 
predicament. 

A third principle which was boldly enunciated in Th^ Pay- 
ckoloyy of Sooiol Noftna, but left for the reader to develop in 
his own way, was the unity of eisperimental and of "real life" 
phenomena — the fact that a sound psychological analysis will 
discover in laboratory situations and in life situations the same 
fundamental dynamics of human life and conduct, because, 
being human, one cannot eoar function without displaying those 
basic principles from which every sound interpretation pro- 
ceeds. It is the task of the laboratory to discover the essentials 
of the "real life" situations, and to throw light upon them, 
just as it is the task of the study of life situations to see where 
^given principle may be systematically explored in laboratory 



Editor’s Introduction xi 

This conception of the imperative need to base social psy- 
chology upon a sound and systematic general psychology, and 
to utilize the more exact approaches wherever they are appro- 
priate, is expanded here and becomes pei'haps the primary 

E oint of inediod which the book develops* In this context, it 
ecomes reasonable to treat hknie Pyle*8 study of the experi- 
ence of the GI*s of World War n, and the experience of Turkish 
peasants who as yet know nothing of industrialism, side by side 
with the experimental studies of the starving conscientious ob* 
jectors of the Minnesota laboratory. Get the psychological 
principle clear, says Sherif, and you will find that it is sound in 
whatever individual or social situation you need to apply It. 
The moral of this for the development of an experimental social 
psychology is unavoidable and terrific. Tor it is the task of 
the expeiimentalist to find what is important and fundamental 
in life, and to find a way to develop valid and pertinent ap- 
proaches to it, no longer selecting for laboratory work what 
merely happens to be convenient, but finding, as has the 
astronomer, that the task of experiment is to observe under 
controlled conditions those important phenomena which, in the 
^^naturol” situation, admit of no such control. 

This is on attempt, then, to arrange all the fundamentals of 
social psychology in terms of one cardinal principle and the 
various corollaries and secondary principles which follow from 
it. In a sense this is too much for a textbook, and in a sense it 
is too little. It is, however. Sheriffs belief that one big vista, 
one great glimpse of the integral meaning of participation in a 
soci^ group, with dozens of supporting illustrations, may war- 
rant the exdusion of much that is ordinarily included in social 
psychology texts. It may be, for example, that the study of 
attitudes and of prejudice is clarified more by the simple, uni- 
tary principle developed here than by the survey of ^e hun- 
dreds of genevalizatioiis from attitude studies and public opinion 
researches which characterize the present period. On this point 
our data ore far from clear. He imy be ovei'simplifying. No 
longer, however, con anyone say that social psy^ology is 
chaotic or undisciplined, &at it is a rag-bag collection of unco- 
ordinated facts, £hat it waits to determine its own method. 
Sherif’s volume categorically removes any basis for such asset- 



xii Editor’s Introduction 

tioDS. 'Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of this work 
may ultimately prove to be, it offers a clear, simple, elementary, 
fundamental, dynamic system for the interpretations of those 
types of social participation upon which group formation, 
group behavior, and historical change depend > 

Gabunsr MuBPHr 



Preface 


mm MAIN FllATUBEa OF THIS OTTTLINO OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 
are derived from my earlier work — ^particularly from A 8l/udy of 
Some Sooial Factors in Perception (19S5) and Tho Psychology of 
Social Norms (1936). On the whole. Part n is an attempt to 
give an up-to-date account of the latter integrated into the 
larger fabric of social psychology as I see it. I believe that a 
number of loose ends have been pulled together here. Some 
material from The Psychology of Social Ncfme has been used 
with modifications in the chapters on group psychology (5 and 
7) and on attitudes (9 and 10). 

The treatment of ego-involvements (Chapters 11 and U) is 
essentially that developed in Chapters 8 and 0 of The Psyohol- 
ogy of Social Norms. This early ti'eatment was expanded in a 
joint work (with H, Cantril), The Psychology of Ego^lnvohe- 
merUa (1947), in which I was responsible for the first brief out- 
line summarissing the main points and for the writing of 
Chapters 1, 3, 8, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Since the problem of ego-in- 
volvements was not considered in relation to a general picture 
of sooial psychology and particularly to the central topic of 
motivation, a certain one-sided emphasis was inevitable in 
that volume. An attempt is made hei'e to give a more balanced 
account of ego-involvements. ** An Experimental Approach to 
the Study of Attitudes” {Sodomeifryt 1937) is incoiporated in 
Chapter 10. Chapter 16 is based, in the main, on “Tlie Psy- 
chology of Slogans*’ («/. Ahn. & Soo, Psychol.t 1687). 

This Bclieme of social psycliology was first outlined for my 
class in Ankara University in 1042-1943. In its elaboradon 1 
owe much to my colleague. Professor Behice Boron of Ankara 
University, and to the members of my class and seminar. 

The time and means to work on the book wei’e afforded 
through a two-year State Department fellowship granted at 



xiv Preface 

the end of 1944 and two Bockefeller grants (1947-1948), for 
which I am grateful. 

Professor T. M. Newcomb of the University of Michigan has 
kindly contributed the systematic account of attitude change 
in the last section of Chapter 6. In developing the theme of 
the chapter on adolescence, 1 profited greatly from unpublished 
materiiu made available to me by Urs. Harold and Mary 
Cover Jones during my visit to the University of California in 
1945. Hr. £ugezL6 Hartley wrote a Bummaiy of prejudice 
material for my use which, along with our discussions, made 
the writing of Chapter 14 smooth sailing. Without his author- 
itative aid on this topic, I would have struggled in pushing 
through the scattered material. 

Professor Carl I. Hovland of Yale University made it possible 
for me to continue and complete this work by extending library 
and other hicUitiea of the university and by arranging a re- 
search fellowship for the academic year 1947-1948. Without 
his effective help, this work would have never been complotod, 
It will be a felicitous experience for me if Professor Gordon 
AUport detects in this book some effect of hia provocative sug- 
gesboDs and criticisms in the early thirties in the direction of 
giving greater weight to problems of individual characteristics 
and variations. I owe much to his encouragement and help in 
various ways while I was his student. 

I cannot undine being able to commit this outline or its 
forerunner, T1^ Psy(Mogy erf Social NormSf into writing witlx- 
out the unfailing and tolerant encourogement which I was for- 
tunate to receive from Gardner Murphy, He Gpored much 
time to go over this work in various stages — ^in outline and in 
manuscript form. All the limitations and shortcomings are, of 
^urse, mine. The degree of indebtedness to his Personality 
hook in the writing of Ghapt^ 17 is far greats than formally 
acknowl^ged there. If his infiuence is reflected through an 
m^OTTigibly crude medium, it is not his fault. 

My wife, Carolyn Sherif, contributed so much in the col- 
lection of new mat^iU as well as in the writing that I asked 
her to join me in signing this work. In spite of the fact that 
she dechned my mvitation with an attitude characteiistic in 
Our work, I consider this book a product of our joint effort. 


Prefiuje xv 

1 extend my thanlcs to various authors for permission to 
use passages and figures from their work, which are acknowl- 
edged in appropriate places throughout the book; and to Miss 
Dorothy Thompson of Harper & Brothers, who undertook 
the tedious task of editing and preparing the manuscript for 
publication. 

M. S, 

December IfSt 1947 
Saugatuoh, Connecticut 



^71 Outline qf Social Psychology 




Introduction 


Social Psychology 

SOCXA.L PSYCHOLOGY DHAl^ WITH THB PiXPERIHKCH AND 
behavior of the individual in rdation to social stimulus situar 
tions. Inteipersonal relationships, group interactions and their 
products, vdues or nonus, language, art forms, institutions, and 
technology ore certainly among the major social stimuli or 
stimulus situations. Since in the case of the newborn child all of 
these appear as stimuli acting on him before they appear as 
responses made by him, an adequate account of their impact on 
him will ultimately give us the picture of his socialization — ^the 
central theme of social psychology. , 

But the individual is not a passive roechoniam merely regie* 
tering the imprints of the outside stimulus field. Prom birth on, 
he is on organism with certain needs to be satisfied which .de** 
termilie the goal<directed and hence the major aeleciwe feature of 
his behavior. This brings the psychology of motivation to the 
foreground at the very, beginning. As he grows, he acquires new 
tastes and moUves and new modes of behavior, the character 
and range of which vary from culture to culture. This being the 
cose, generalizations in social psychology should be lormulated 
on the basis of checking and cross-checking against the findings 
in related fields — ^biology and social science (sociology, eth- 
nology, etc.). 

As the receptivity of the individual in relation to any situa- 
tion is circumscribed by his perc<^tion and discritoination, and 
as the acquisition of new modes of behavior is dependent i on 
maturation and learning, the psychology of perception, judg- 
ment, maturation, and learning is basic in reariiing general 
formulations in social psychology. The social psychology of 
these basic topics is essentially the some as their general psy- 

1 


g An Outline of Social Psychology 

choloffv. In other words, social psychology derives the design- 
tion social not from the use of a different set of concepts, but 
from the fact that it extends concepte valid in general psychol- 
ogy to the social field. By the same tok^, since individual 
differences are revealed in man's social reactions ns well as in his 
other reactions, the social psychologist keeps a close eye on the 
findings of differential psychology. 

It seems that the more profitable way of presenting the 
methods used in social psycholo^ is in relation to coiici*ete 
studies. Therefore, besides rqmrfing in brief the results of re- 
search findings related to various topics treated in tliis book, we 
have made a point of presenting some representative studies 
more fully. In each ease, it becomes evident tliat the methods 
and procedures followed are determined largely by tlie nature of 
the problem at hand. Of course, the final crucible for testing the 
validity of a hypothesis is experirtientaHortf whenever it is fea- 
sible without destroying the main features of the problem, 

The facts of variations of experience and b^avior due to 
cultural variations have imposed themselves on social psycliolo- 
gists time and again. The perspective necessary to overcome 
the sbortcomingB of our own cultural biases— **cthnocen- 
trisms^-^an be effectively achieved by cross-checking our 
findings against those from different cultures and times. 

Current issues, such as prejudice and the impact of tech- 
nological developments on human relationships, forcing 
themselves to the attention of the social psychologist. The most 
successful scientific way of dealing with such issues is to study 
them os part of the persistent problems to which they ore or< 
ganically related. It is only by dealing with them in this com- 
prehensive maimer that theory and practice concerning them 
can be effectively combinedi 

A Word on PerspeotiYc 

The variations of values and psychological manifestations 
reported by sociologists and etlmologists studying different 
cultures, and the same culture at different periods, have forced 
a new perspective in the outlook of psychologists. As a con- 
sequence, social psychologists have now become more aware of 



Introduction 3 

the danger that their established notions, formed in their par- 
ticulai' culture, may creep in to distort the validity of their 
generalizations, and that results obtained from the subjects of a 
particular cultiu'e and of a particular economic*^ociaI class must 
be checked gainst tlieir counterparts in other cultures and social 
(dasses. This has contributed to their emancipation, in the 
capacity of social psychologists, from the absolutism of -the 
values and norma &cy have picked up as members of a given 
social group. One concrete line of development in this field will 
make 5ie point clear. During the decades 1910-1030 many ex- 
perimenters in social psydiology reported results which seemed 
to prove that individual competitiveness was on essential part 
of human psychology and that there was almost a umform 
tendency towai'd mediocrity in collective behavior. A good 
illustration of the point is the experimental research of the 
sociologist Sorokin and his collaboratoi's.^ These investigators 
did not intend even to bother themselves with the effect of group 
situations in setting standards and goals for the individual in 
group interaction and the subsequent effectof suchstondards and 
goals as determining factors later when the individual is alone. 

The above instance of experimental approach by a sodologist 
forcefully drives home ihs paradoTi (hat mere krumkdge of com- 
paraHve do^a, and even actually seeing and living in different ouU 
turee, are not enough one is to achieve the neeessafy perepeciive. 
He has at the some time to emancipate himself from advocating 
certain narrow aocio'political tendencies. In the physied 
sciences, research men may succeed, perhaps, in keeping sepa- 
rate their work in the laboratory, which is on a scientific level, 
and their outlook as a member of a social class, of a church, and 
the like. This compartmentalizaUon does not hold if our scien- 
tific work is related to any field of social life. Then our scientific 
field is so close to our outlook on social and political matters 
that they inevitably become confused. As members of an eth- 
nic or social group we have our appropriate duties. If we de- 
liberately do not exclude their possible negative effects on our 
research, if we allow our deep enthusiasms for the aspmations and 

^ r. A. Sorokin, with M. Tonqnist, M. Porten, Mrs. C. C. Zinunerman, An Mpesi; 
mental study of d^onoy d work under various specified eondlUoni, Amr, J, Soofol,, 
1080, as, 708-^80. 



4 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

riglita of our social group or class to creep in, they will influence 
our approach and our formulation of research projects at the 
very outset. 

Nowadays many a psychologist is malcing a humane plea to 
social psychologists to participate actively in a new world of 
democrncy. If social psychologist does participate without 
first getting rid of his personal involvement as a consciously or 
unconsciously identifl^ member of a aocio-econoniic class, os a 
member of a majority group or a minonty group or a religious 
group, or as a representative of some particular ** laboratory 
atmosphei'e,** with their more or less well-established directions 
and values, he may (as experiments indicate) be contributing his 
bit to the already existing muddle of ideobgiea and not to 
democracy. (See Chapter l!2.) 

New contributions to social psychology, strongly tinged ex- 
plicitly or implicitly with religious, national, and economic 
a^irationa of particular groups, will fall short of achieving a 
discipline universally valid for all units of humanity, no matter 
how sophisticated and well worked out they appear to be in 
their formulation. 


Gurrent Social Issues and Social Psychology 

Magic never succeeded in finding the principles and laws tlint 
^vem natural and human processes. As has been said so many 
times during the past centuries, only by man’s achieving die 
outlook and the techniques of yielding to the run-of-things-in- 
nature has nature yielded to man, in so many fields, the secrets 
of its working. The first step in yielding to nature is to be able 
to put appropriate questions to it, he., to formulate problems to 
which It will re^ond. It is deaf and dumb to questions that do 
touch it, no matter how impressive our techniques may be. 
The use of experimental techniques and procedures becomes 
effective only after we achieve the correct orientation in formu- 
latog the problems in line with the run-of-thinga^in-nature. • 

^ Butthte doesnotmean that the scientist moves in a world of 
existence. The superciUous attitude of the sti'ict divorce 
of and applied science is nothing more than a self-conceited 

exhibition of aloofness by certain scholars. As aptly pointed 



Introduction . 5 

out by Julian Huxley,^ one of the outstanding biologists of oui ’ 
time, sometimes it is not easy to separate what is pure and what 
is applied even in the physical sciences. Was research on the 
atomic bomb, for example, pure or applied science? To begin 
with, topics of research do not drop down from the heavens on a 
few exceptional souls. They He in the trend of the times. For 
example, the wonderful development of the physical sciences 
during the past centuries was prompted to a great extent by the 
demands of a rising buaiuesa class. The really great men of 
science, like Galileo and Darwin, were men who responded 
effectively to the call of their respective times. Nor are alto- 
gether heavenly sounding philosophers any exception in this 
respect. Even Plato, with his ideal eternal Ideas as the essence of 
things, was theorizing on the basis of certain socio-economic and 
intellectual trends of his time, asWinspear recently pointed out.^ 

The social sciences, which arc lagging almost helplessly be- 
hind the natural sciences, chieffy because of the resistance of 
things as they are, are today being forced to meet the challenge 
of our time. ^*Our time” may be characterized in this respect 
as a period of almost hodgepodge and crisis in human relation- 
ships, mainly because of the terrific impact of the socially un- 
controlled, unplanned appUcations of technological advice. 
Naturally social psychologists, as wdl as other students of 
social relationships today, ore dealing with the urgent problem 
of peace, with the problems of prejudice, public opinion, moss 
mediums of communication, with the persistent problems of 
“human nature” and the social order. Tons of literature on 
these and other problems of human concern ore pouring out 
from once aloof universities, institutes, and commercial enter- 
prises dealing with public opinion. Our evaluation of all such 
studies on current problems and topics should be made in terms 
of the criteria which have helped to extend the frontiers of' 
science further. Among these criteria, we mention only two. ' 

1. Is the inyestigation formulated in such a way that it will 
further our understanding of a scientific concept, principle, or . 
law, aside from its possible practical value at the moment? 

* 3. Huxloy, Science BiulOaralatim to aocialnccdB, in ' 

Stewart Lecture. 1D8S). London: Allen ond Unwin. 1985. chap. 0. 

> A. D. Winqiear, Tht Omttia qf Plaio’a ThaufftU, New York; Diarden Preu. 1040. 



6 An Outline of Social Psychology 

g. Is the investigation undertaken with the aim of finding 
out the truth about the topic, no matter whether the sponsors 
(or those who made the research possible) will be pleased with 
the results or notP 

The reader who is interested in the methodological problems of 
social psychology today should consult the following: 

A 1 J.POBT, P. H. Metliods in the study of collective action phenomena. 

/. Hoc. PsyeJid., SP&SI Bull., IQ4SL, 16, 166-186. 

CoTTBELLi L. S., Jb., ond K. GAiinA.anBR. Developments in social 
psychology, 1080-1040. Sociomeiru Monogr. No. 1, New York: 
Beacon House, Inc.i 1041. 

Lswnr, IC. Pield theory and experiment in social psychology: con- 
cepts and methods. Amer. J, Socud., 108D, 44, 808-800. 

MuBPirv, G., L. B. Mubpht, and T. M. Nbwcomb. Experimental 
Social Payehedogy, New York: Harper, 1087, chap. 1, The Field 
and the Methods of Social Psychology, pp. S-gO. 

Subbif, H. Some methodological remarks related to experimentation 
in social psychology. Intarn. J, Opin. and AiHi. Rea,, 1047, 1, 71-D3. 
Tolmak, £. Physiology, psychology, and sociology. Psyohil. Ren,, 
1938, 45, No. 8. 



PART ONE 


Motives 





The General Problem qf Motives 
in Relation to Social Psychology 


BEFORE! ABPBOACHllTO RBLETAXT CONCEPTS, ETNDmOB, AND 
conclusiona in the psychology of motivation, it will be worth 
while in the long run to get our first orientation from concrete 
inatancea of human motlvea aa any peraon experiences them in 
hia daily contocta. After all, the acid test of the validity of sci- 
entific work and conduaions in the field of motivation, as in any 
field, lies in their promise to clarify adequately and, ultimately, 
to manipulate our motives in the ^-important process of living 
as human beings. In spite of the promising beginnings of some 
excellent resell material, there is as yet no established 
psychology of motivation— 'motivation, espedally on the human 
level, being one of the most di£5cult problems of the whole dis- 
cipline. The complexity of the problem becomes even more 
intricate when motivation is considered in social psychology, 
for here it necessarily involve the impact of diverse groups 
(small and large) and culture on the individual. We have there- 
fore to proceed cautiously, using only the steppingstones that 
appear to us most reliable, and guided by certain mdhodological 
considerations (Chapter 1) and by lessons token to heari; fri>ni 
some well-known vicious circles of the past. 

That this is not a note of false alarm or an unduly provocative 
proclamation of confusion at the outset will become evidmt if 
one merely skims through the pages of the books of some oon- 
tending “schools’* in recent psydiologicol literatui'e., Tdre the 
accounts of motivation in any two books published in the 
'thirties, for example, representing the individual as opposed to 
the "cultural** or collective approach in social psychology; Or 
the lists of "needs’* or drives'drawn up by paychologiats in gen- 
eral. One usually ends with more ednfusion than he started with. 

s 



10 An Outline of Social Psychology 

It is hard to keep one*s feet on the ground when some one or two 
instincts end frustrations thereof, or some “dynamic” personal 
“traits” are advanced to explain whole trends of radicalism or 
conservatism, or war, or on entire system of social organization 
such as capitalism. 

TVhen one observes himself and his fellow human beings in 
different cultures, as the author of this book has done, and then 
goes on to read about them (beyond a few abstractions deduced 
about their culture), he finds individuals everywhei*e directed 
towai'd certain ends or goals — goals that require shorter or 
longer time ranges for their fulfillment within a comparatively 
noiTower or expanded radius of activities. He sees individuals 
invanably teiuhng to obtain and prepare food for the next meal, 
or making sure it will be ready for them. Of course the 
time, the kind and amount, the place, the atmospheie, and tlic 
trimmings of the meal are determined (usually) by on indi- 
vidual’s culture and his social status and economic position in 
the social organization. Likewise, one sees him directed toward 
securing shelter and clothing — ^the kind, the amount, the size, 
the location, etc., in each case being, within limits, socially de- 
termined. One sees him in search of or longing for a mate 
(temporary or lasting), going along the channels of passive or 
active, roundabout or direct approaches, using all tlie possible 
devices for increasing his appeal value— masculine or reminine 
charm, position, power, riches, niceties, and the loopholes of 
etiquette — as piescribed by the norms of his particular mllieii. 

One sees him striving to be a member in good standing of liia ^ 
group, whatever his particular 'group may be. Subject to in- 
di^ddual variations, he strives to excel in his grou'pt whatever 
the hierarchical arrangement for excelling may be in his par- 
ticular group. Of course, different behavior characteristics may 
be at a premium in different social settings. In one, the degree 
of Gomi)etitiveness or individualism or outsmarting other's may 
be the established rule for excelling in the order of things; in 
anoth». cooperativeness and solidarity, etc. One college student 
may aim at getting a C in his course; his classmate may feel 
frustrated raless he gets an A. A rich man may not feel satisfied 
unless his riches are second to none in bis community, whereas a 
poor man who has had difficulty making both ends meet on a 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 11 

subsistence level may have a feeling of achievement if he is able 
to molce a steady living for his family. The vice-president of a 
company may feel miserable until he becomes the full-fledged 
president. 

One sees women who ai'e miserable until they, like their 
friends, are able to appear in a new dress at every party. An 
adolescent girl may feel equally unhappy unless she is able to 
go to the movies twice a week with her friends and wear her 
blue jeans. 

We have cited the instances in the above paragraphs to make 
our meaning clear. Whether direcied toward food^ clothmgt sheitert 
the opposite seXi or toward slciuSt power , social disliius^orii reoog^ 
nition,t trijles conaerning dress ^ decor aiiofit and etiquette, these are^ 
aU cases of motivated behavior— ^notives^ We shall use the. term 
motives as a generic term to cover cdl (he different eases and kinds 
of goal-directed {motivated) behavior. We need such a collective 
term to cover the different kinds of motivated behavior~need8 
(drives) originating and embedded in the functioning of the 
organism of the individual, “derived drives” based on them, 
socially acquired desires, wishes, aspirations, ambitions, di- 
rected towai'd certain goals or values, etc. 

However, distinguiedirag between universal motives (needs or 
drives) and acquired motives of various sorts (“derived drives,” 
tastes, aspirations, ambitions) becomes imperative, especially 
in social psychology whose central probl^ is, perhaps, the 
process of socialization of the individual in various cultures and 
the profound effects of this socialization on his experience and 
behavior. The aim of the social psychologist is to achieve con- 
cepts and principles that ore equally valid in different cultures, 
with their enormous diversity of norms and values relating to 
various phases of life — ^from the most intimate kinship relation- 
ships to the trifles of social etiquette. Since these yariations give 
rise in turn to an enormous ^versity of goal objects or situa- 
tions, we must keep the diatiiiction between .motives based 
on their origin in mind throughout our work. This is not 
an idle verbal preoccupation. For, in trying times of economic 
depression, poverty, and crises such as the many countiiea of 
Europe and Asia are going through at present, people ore dis- 
pensing witli the pursuit of many goal objects and values which 



12 An Outline of Social Psychology 

in. better times they hold indispensable; they ai-e stiiving to 
keep barely olive. We shall tentatively venture to genei-ahze 
that, on the whole, in periods of scarcity and privation the mo- 
tives of individuals become more and more directed tovaid the 
coal objects and situations that are closest to th^ organic needa.v 
Later we shall present concrete illustrations of this tendenejr. 
(See Chapter 4, pages 84-90.) The tendency also holds true, in 
general, in certain cases of individual breakdown. 

With such considerjitions in mind, it becomes necessary to dis- 
tinguish motives aa follows: ^ ^ 

1. Unlearned or biogenic motives. These motives originate and 
are embedded in the functioning of the organic needs of the 
body. We shall restrict the use of the twin's needs, basic 
drives, and instincts to unlearned or biogenic motives, and 
shall use these terms (need, basic drive, or instinct) in- 
terchangeably. 

' ft. teamed or soGiogenia moHves. As the term implies, these 
motives are acquired in the course of the genetic develop- 
ment of the in^vidual. Since at least most of these 
acquired motives are learned in connection v^ith inter- 
personal relationships or with established social values 
or norms and institutions, they are sociogenic motives. 
Whether biogenic or sodogenic, whatever its origin may 
be, once a motive is aroused it has psychological conse- 
quences. For example, a person who is in the throes of 
seeking status or a person committed to a social ideal may 
go hungry for one meal or longer under pressing condi- 
tions, even though biog^ic motives are usually more 
basic and pressing. Since all motives thus have psycholog- 
ical consequences, it seems preferable to use Ihe term 
sodogenic to indicate the origin of acquired motives rather 
than "psychogenic** which is used by some autliors* 
Learned motives that may be strictly personally acquired 
(if there ore such things) need not concern us in sodol 
psychology. Specific kinds or types of sociogenic motives— 
such as ta^s and desires for certain value objects, aspira- 
tions for a certdn social position, ambitions to attain a 
certain status — are so numerous that appropriate teims 
will be used in each connection. Behavior revealing an 



Motives in Eelation to Social Psychology 13 

established attitude is to be taken as sodogenically 
motivated behavior inasmuch as attitudes are directed 
toward certain values or goal objects. 

After making the distinction between biogenic and sociogenic 
motives, we must hasten to emphasize a fact which is relevant 
in this connection. Whether of biological (biogenic) or social 
ongin (sociogenic), motives have consequential effects in the 
experience and bdiavior of the individual as long as they oper- 
ate effectively. Take the case of an ambitious politician who 
lives far above the subsistence level and who has definitely set 
himself to obtain some office. Se ceitainly will turn heaven and 
earth to get it. His major elations or frustrations will be a func- 
tion of Ids experienced proximity to the goal (the office). Or 
take the case of a young person who is all set to attend a big 
football game or a commencement week-end which will be the 
high point of the year, if for some reason he is deprived of going, 
he will feel utterly miserable and terribly betrayed by circum- 
stances or people. In short, whether of biological (biogenic) or 
social oingin (sociogenic), once a motive is aroused, the indi- 
vidual experiences a sense of urgency in carrying it through- to 
the goaU this urgency is of course proportional to the intensity 
of the motive.^ We ^oll have some more to say on this point 
later. (Sec Chapter 11.) 

Before we close these general introductory remarks, a word 
about the place of motives in social relationships may be in 
order. It is a truism of ev^yday life situations that individuals 
enter into interpersonal relationships and participate in group 
interaction to achieve certain ends. These ends may be to se- 
cure a livelihood, as in the case of labor imions; to ^d a mate, 
os in the cose of various types of social functions ^ or to achieve 
social status or distinction, as. in the case of clubs, etc. Any 
account of interpersonal relationships or group interaction will 
miss some major variables if motivation^ factors are left out. 
On the other hand, once groups start to function, there, emerge 
supra-individual products which in turn become significant 
factors in determining or modifying the eiqierience and be- 
havior of the individuals that constitute the group, even in 

1 6. Murpliy, L. B. Murphy, and T. M. Nowcomb, Ej^rwunialSaoiaiPttfiAclogjf, 
New York: UarpcTi nv, ed., 1087, p. 188. 



14 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


relotion to the motivea which were firat responsible for bringing 
them together, Por example, o ^oup of bojra m a area, 
deprived of adequate food, clothmg. and social ties, may meet 
together as a gang to satisfy these deprivations. by 

stealing. But once the group begins to function, once a ct^e 
of conduct (normst values) appears in the group, we members 
may wiUingly undergo hunger, deprivation, and temporary 
sepwation from the gang in accordance with ite code, w order 
to preserve or enhance their status or to mointaan Ihc solidnrify 
of the group. We shall consider some examples of motive in 
group situations later in more detail. (See Chapters fi, 6, and 7.) 


The Imporunce of Motives in Controversies over Human 
Nature 

No doubt because of the impact of the momentous events of 
recent years- — war, social and economic upheavals, and the 
growing functional interdep«ftdence of people in a world that is 
jihf i nlcin g geographically as a result of such technological de- 
velopments as the radio, airplanes, etc.“— problems related to 
the merits or defects of social orders have come torcefiiUy to tlie 
foregi'ound. Friendly or antagonistic groups and individuals are 
engaged in controversies-^not to mention open conflicts — over 
them. As typical fllustrations of these currently floui*ishing 
controversies, we shall mention in passing only two lines of 
arguments used by the contending parties. 

1, One line of argumeiit centers around the relative effec- 
tiven^ of incentives in competitive and in cooperative social 
systems. The implications of such ai'guments have to bo con- 
sidered seriously in social psychology because they have a dii'ect 
bearing on the individual-sociefy rriationsbip. The advocate of 
the individually competitive system argues that if you take 
away individual competition, ie incentive for excellence and 
hence progress will disappear and our western civilization will 
stagnate. And to prove Ids point, he cites the development of 
the highly competitive capitalist system during the post few 
centuries. His opponent argues with equal enthusiasm tlmt this 
contention is not true and cites the Soviet Union as on example. 
Is individual competition — ^the passion to outdo otliera in busi- 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 15 

ness, in work, in social life—the only possible incentive that can 
set a high pace for achievement? Since this question of motives 
involves the whole problem of socialization, we shall deal with 
this and related problems in Chapters 11 and 12 , where the social 
motives are considei'ed in more detail. 

2 . The second line of argument is more comprehensive and 
goes to the 001*6 of the problem of the inhei'ent compatibiliiy or 
incompatibility of this or that social system with the basic 
tendencies of what the contenders take to be “human natine. ” 
The party to the controversy who is dissatisfied with the ex- 
isting order of human relation^ps, with its division of people 
into owners of the means of production on one side and their 
hu'ed workers on the other side, oigues for a dionge in human 
relationships that are based on the private ownership of capital. 
He points out that the major ills plaguing people today, such as 
imperialism, war, economic crU^, periodic scarcity, labor-owner 
strife, ruthless and disastrous competition, are caused mainly 
by the private ownership system. His opponent, in turn, pointa ' 
to the wonderful progress achieved in industry under this 
system, and the blessings of modem technology. He goes on to 
atti'ibuto this progress to the motives of profit and competition, 
arguing again that without profit and competition progress will 
come to a standstill. Sooner or later in the course of his argu- 
ment, he ends up with a condusion that seems to him un- 
answerable: It is desirable to do away wi\b economic crises, 
worker^owner conflicts, wars, etc., all of which cause hardships 
and misery to a great many people. But it is impossible to do 
away with the ownership system and individual competition 
because it is against “human nature to do so. His opponent 
may venture to state with equal finality that, on the contrary, 
“human natui'o“ is fundamentally opposed to such a system. 
Li any case, the oi’gument has reaped a stalemate. 

These are among the major pei'sistent topics of controversy 
in the critical world of today. They constitute a challenge to 
the social psychologist in particular because they also involve 
some of the major problems in his field of reseat. Professor 
Dunham rendered a great service to those of us in whose life- . 
work a systematic study of these problems holds an important 
place by bringing up for discussion these and related topics in 



10 An Outline of Social Psychology 

his book, Man Against He discusses in a broad philo- 

sophical perspective such rather widely used value judgments 
or **inyths” as: “You Can't Change Human Nature,*’ "The 
Rich Are Pit and the Poor Unfiti" “There Ai*e Superior and 
Inferior Races,’* “You Have to Look Out for Yourself,” etc. 
One of the points he raises effectively is that there ai'O intei'ested 
groups who are consciously and actively, through various 
propaganda devices, perpetuating such value judgments for the 
masses of people. 

These controversies over “human nature” are old problems 
which have been heatedly debated for centmles without any 
success, For example, Hobbes gave a picture of the cruelty and 
selfishness of human beings on the one luind; Housaeau gave a 
picture of the innocence and spontaneous goodness of original 
’human nature” on the othei*. There have been variations and 
offshoots of these main stands since then, usually couched in 
the currently fashionable iutelleetual egressions of their time. 
Thus Krapotkin, with his social inclinations, looked at the liv- 
ing creatures around him and proclaimed a world of sympathy 
and cooperation. His ooutemporory, Herbert Spencer, who 
lived at uie peak of the British Empire’s power at the end of tlie 
nineteenth century, painted a grim pictiu^. Using tlie language 
of biological evolution current in his time, he sought to justify 
the might of the mighty, the fortunes of tlie wealthy, the mis- 
fortune of the downtrodden, on the basis of the rule of the 
jungle. Starting with such current evolutionary es^rcssions as 
“struggle for existence,” "survival oftlie fittest," and “natural 
selection,” he arrived at the conclusion that lie trend of hu- 
man society too was working for the best interests of humanity 
os exemplified by the empires of his time. Of course, such system- 
atizations ai’e looked upon today with only historic^ interest. 

However, even now we are not veiy for advwiced from that 
stage of "scientific" justification for “human nature” in har- 
mony with the picture of human relationships or society we 
frmdamentally uphold. Of course, in pace with the more “sci- 
entifically-minded” temper of modern times, more scientific 
data are presented in the current controversies over original 
human nature." One field of argument directed us to look at 

* Barrows Dunham, Agaimt MyO,, Bostons Little, Brown, 1047. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 17 

more primitive peoples, the assumption being that the less de- 
veloped a society is the closer its membera are to original “hu-'."^ 
man nature. ” And what were the results of such inquiries? Sure 
enough, both sides of the argument were selective in the choice 
of them facts; both found **facts** to prove the great argument 
in their favoi\ Methodologically, the vicious circle starts with 
the assumption that teohnicsily less-developed peoples are 
closer to original human nature.” It is safe to say, in general, 
that the members of less-developed groups usually cling more 
closely, conform more religiously to the values or norms of their 
society — ^no matter how strange or unnatural they may appear 
to outsiders — than do the members of societies at a higher level 
of technological development with their relatively more rapid 
changes and gi'eater variations. 

In spite of their more refined methods and techniques, 
psychologists, even in recent times, have not been exceptions in 
this tendency to start with certain assumptions and then present 
elaborate facts in their favor. Por example, not so long ago ce> 
tain payehologiats reported results which virtually meant that 
the ricli were rich because, without being appreciably affected 
by the life circumstances of their upbringing, they were con-« 
genitally more intelligeat. Other psychologists came to opposite 
conclusions based on equally ^aborate results. Similarly, one 
cannot help noticing &e infiuence of certain fundamental 
human views ("austere” or "humane”) in the lists of basic 
human instincts or drives presented by various psychologists. . 

Ah of tins points to the inevitable condusion that we must 
put more rigorous checks on our methodological grounds and 
keep abreast of new findings in the biological sciences, psy- 
chology, and the social sciences such as ethnology and sociology, 
in order to avoid such pitfalls. 

Leaving more detailed accounts to the chapters that follow, 
we can safely state in passing that the picture of "human 
nature” prevalent in any society at any time corresponds rather 
closely to the established norms regarding human nature and 
the practice of human lelationahips sanctioned by these norms.* 
That this is the case con be gleaned from even a superficial 

' B. S. and H. M. I^nd, MiSdishnon ^ frontUiont New York: Harcourt, Brace, 
1087i pp. 170 ff.i H. S. lynd, KwnAadga /or Wbalf The Plaoa of Swial 
ican Outiure, Princeton: Princeton Univerdty Press, 1080, e^dollj^ cAmps. 8 and i,' 



18 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


glance at and comparUcm of the conceptions of **huinan nature ” 
held by the Preach, Germans, or English in the ecclesiRstically 
tinged feudal organizations and by the same peoples today. It is 
particularly the superstructure of social norms and “social 
techniques which lend to a particular society a large part of its 
characteristic flavor, its 'myth,* as to the Nature of Man. ** * 

If this is true, it becomes a superfluous preoccupation to iii^ 
dulgc in futile controversies over whether or not “human na- 
ture“ can be changed. All the above considerations and those 
in the pages to follow force na first to raise the question: What 
is this “human nature** about which argument rages? When 
we start the argument with the question of whether or not 
human nature can be changed, we assume that we already know 
what it is. As yet, nowhere, including all the boolcs on psy- 
chology, do we find an adequate picture of “human nature. ** 
Therefore, the first essential task is the study of it. And it be- 
comes necessarily the study of the biological endo wm^t (congen- 
itally given organic needs, actual or potential plasticity or learn- 
ing capacity, etc.) of the species. Whatever else may be included 
in the biological endowment of the species (ready at birth or 
coming to function eventually throu^ maturation), biological 
needs (such as respiration, sleep, hunger, etc.) are certainly n- 
mong the constituents of the organism whicdi should be included 
in such a s^dy. These organic needs constitute genetically 
the first motives of the individual (see Chapter 3, pp. 61-00) . 

P^haps now the necessity for distinguishing the origin of 
motives is clearer. These endless controversies over “human 
nature** impose on us necessity of distinguishing between 
the unlearned or biogenic motives and the learned or aoowg&nio 
motives at the outset. Real advance in tiiis direction will help to 
clarify our study of the social^tion process and our under- 
standmg of certain functional relationships in the individuars 
psychological make-up in the socialized state of later life. Wc 
shall see, for example, how keying this distinction as to tlic 
origin of motives in mind helps us to imderstand certain be- 
^vior i^ifestetioua that arise under conditions of severe 
depnvotion, in individual and collective crisis situations, and 
m at leost some cases of ego-breakdown. 

* E. C. Tolman, Dtim Toward War, Neir York: Appleton-Contury. lOle, p, as. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 19 

Basic Motives (Drives or Instincts) Are Biogenic Needs 
No matter wliat the social setting or "culture pattern*’ may 
be — imperial or colonial^ western or oriental, highly industrial 
or primitive, leisure-class or poverty-stricken, Christian or 
heathen — ^man eatsi drinks, breathes* sleeps, and tries to keep 
warm in order to carry forwai'd the most essential complex of 
his preoccupations, living — that is, just keeping alive os a bio- 
logical organism* No matter what o^er prosaic or I’efined, mean 
or noble, humble or distinguished activities and strivings he 
may be engaged in (which may not be related to the above 
preoccupations), he has fii'st to achieve at least a subsistence 
level of living. And achieving a subsistence level means attend- 
ing to the demands of such organic needs as hunger, thirst, 
al^> etc. These biological functions he has in common not only 
with all the members of his own species, Homo sapiens, but also 
with many other animals. In Tolman’a words: "Finally, taken 
together, it is the appetites plus avei‘sions which, I declare, 
provide the ultimate and basic needs for all animals, human and 
subhuman. In the lost analysis, it con be said that all the things 
we human beings do and want are ultimately to be evaluated 
with respect to degree to which they tend to satisfy hunger, 
thirst, sex, and the rest, or to prevent pain, frustration . . , . * 
Of course, the forms, the particular objects, the circumstances 
end the manner of satisfying these basic needs ore subject to 
cultural variations. This will be the concern of Fort II of this 
book. Howevei', in spite of cultural variations and the emer- 
gence of altogethw new practices and strivings in different 
societies, the £ct remaias &at if there is a common substratum 
of human strivings which may be labeled "human nature, it is 
these organic needs plus the almost infinite plasticity in learn- 
ing, i.e., the capacity to acquire new reaction patterns, new 
tastes and values, to acqune and manipulate a host of synibols, 
concepts, and tools. Therefore, it is a task of the utmost sig- 
nificance to be able to single out these basic needs or drives. 

Ever since the impact (ff the evolutionary teaching of Darwin 
began to be really felt in formal academic psychology (which 
was preoccupied at the time almost exclusively with efforts to 
sift out "sensations”), many attempts have been made to 
• Ibid., p. 28 . 



20 An Outline of Social Psychology 

achieve a classification op list of basic di-ives or instincts in 
psychology itself. For example, William James made such, a list. 
Psychology owes a great deal to the influence of the work o£ 
Md)ougQll and Freud for the beginning of the current con- 
cern with problema of motivation. Both men drew up lists of 
instincts which iiey changed as they elaborated their systems 
further. McDougall'a classification, which exerted a great in- 
fluence at the timei especially on social psycholo^yi now has 
only historical value, The instincts he listed are linked closely 
with his vitalistic speculation, and such instincts as ascendance 
and submission have not survived the test of evidence.® Such 
dramatic-sounding instincts as the instincts of death or de- 
struction cannot be subjected to the check of controlled in- 
vestigation.’ And, alluring though they are, the various and 
diverse central concepts (such as the sexual libido of Freud, the 
“inferiority complex" of Adler, and the “collective uncon- 
scious" of Jung, not to mention the variations added by their 
disciples) whi(£ ore used as magic keys to explain everything 
from the personal troubles of one individual to tlie rise of social 
systems like capitalism, blind us to the need for making room 
fbr other factors. These other Actors stand out, at times bla- 
tantly, 83 stubhom facts which cannot be assimilated by the 
magic principles. More recently, Murray and his associates ® 
have offered classificatoiy schemes which contain literally 
dozens of items. Bven a ^ance at their lists is enough to con- 
vince one that such a scheme is not valid in the light of a few 
well-known facts of both physiology and ethnology. In short, 
it seems that there is not as yet a generally accepted classifica- 
tion of basic needs or drives. In ibis coimection the point raised 
by Lashley * may serve as a realistic con’ective: "The current 
trend in social psychology and psychopathology is to elevate 
the drive to the position formerly occupied by instinct, os some 
general motivating force apart from specific sensorimotor sys- 
tems. Actually the term [_instinct, drive, or need] is nothing 
more than a general designation of reactions to deficit, and its 

* ‘William Md}ougan, OuAum qf Ptyehology, Now York: Scribner, lOitS. 

' * S. Freud, The Ego and tk$ Id, London: Hogarth, 1987. 

• 5‘ ** af-i Bsplwatioiu in Ptrmaliiy, New York: OKforcl, 1088. 

K. S. LaBblejr, Eiperimeotal anahiis of instinctive behavior, Ptyoh. Rev,, 19.88, 
4o, 445-469. 



Motives in Eolation to Social Psychology 21 

hypostatization as a real force can only blind us to the fact that 
eacli such reaction constitutes a special problem involvingj per- 
haps, a unique mechanism’* (p. 469). 

A noteworthy list of innate biological drives has been sug- 
gested by ToIman.^“ He subdivides them into (1) appetites 
and (2) aversions, os follows: 

The Appetites (p, 544) 

A maternal (or suckling of the 
young) drive 
A nestpbuildiug di'ive 
Thirst 
Hunger 
Sex 

A general activity drive 
An exploratory drive 
A rest or sleep drive 
A urination and defecation (in 
specific type of locale) drive 
A play drive 
An aestlietic drive 

In regard to the appetites, Tolman generalises: . Bach is 

set in motion by some peculiar internal metabolic condition 
(state of the breasts, hunger, thirst, sex, need for exercise, and 
ie like). This metabolic condition occurs in apparently more 
or less regular cycles due to combinations of internal and ex- 
ternal conditions. And when it is in force the animal is driven 
until an appropriate consummatory object is found in the 
presence of which latter a corresponding consummatory re- 
sponse occurs. This consummatory response then relieves the 
internal metabolic condition and produces, at least temporarily, 
a final complementary state of internal saiiaHon** (p, B0). 
Concerning avei'sions.'he says: **Bach of these aversions is.set 
off, not by an interned metabolic condition (as is on e^petite), 
but by an evoking environmental object (or situation), %.e., cold, 
heat, danger, or obstruction. Further, whereas an appetite was 
seen primarily os a geiHng-to a final state of 'satiawm, each of 
these aversions is, rather, a geiting-from an internal state of 

M %. C. ToltnRa, MotWatlon, leaniing nnd adjustment, 'Pros. Amtr. PkUot. Sm., 
1041 , 84 . 048 - 508 . 


The Aversions (p. 547) 

Cold— avoidance 
Heat— avoidance 
Dangei^^voidance (t.s., Fright) 
Obsti'uction — avoidance (i.e., Ag- 
gresmon) 



gg An Outline of Social Psychology 

^auferance' For cold, heat, danger, obatruction tend to produce 
intemal sufferances. And it is such internal suffei'ftnces which 
are the terminal situations ulUmately being got from in each 
case” (p. 547). . . , , 

Toltnan then lists the ^‘social drives/* which include among 
others such items as ^loyalty to group,” “sharing,” etc. We 
ahnll not present this list here. At least most if not all of these 
"social drives” develop in the process of socialization of the 
individual (see Chapters 11, 12). Tohnan himself cautions that 
his list of social drives is “very tentative. “ 

Singling out these basic needs or dnvcs is not an academic 
pastime, even though there have been inclinations in this di- 
rection, Knowledge of on exact inventory of the basic drives 
will contribute in a decisive way to resolving Ihe futile contro- 
versies over "human nature” which have impUcaiions of the 
utmost aigniffcance for the whole range of social relationships. 
Furthermore, more exact knowledge in this field will necesBarily 
indicate the realistic range of stimulus objects and situations 
which ore of biological significance to the organism before the 
complications of new acquisitions enter the picture. It is be- 
coming a recognized fact that the first objects and situations 
of value positive or negative) to the individual are those which 
have hiologiaal significance to him as an orgonism, and that 
numerous other values are acquired as related or not related to 
them. The problem so forcefully raised by Watson in this re- 
gard is.still urgent, no matter rraat the fate of his special find- 
ings and conclusions may be.^ 

The contradictoiy lists of needs (drives, instincts) and, in 
fact, the confusion in regard to the concept of needs (drives, 
instincts) that prevails today impose the necessity of strict ob- 
servance of at least two methodological consid^ationa: (1) cer- 
tain minimum criteria for induding any motive in the list of 
primary needs (drives, instincts), and (2) dear ddineation of 
the essential problems of primary needs (drives, instincts) that 
give them their distinctive character. Wc shall consider them 
briefly. 

** J. B. Waljon, BaAowomm. New Yoric People’s Institute Publishing Company, 
ym. ^ also his chapter la C. Murchison (ed.), Ptifohcloeiu ot lOSS, Worcesters 
Clark University Press, 10W. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psycliology 38 

1. Mmimum criteria for induding any motive jn the list of 
primary needs (drives, instiricts) are explicitly or implicitly 
accepted by almost eveiyone, but the requirements of such 
criteria are neglected somewhere along the way. These criteria 
include at least the univeraalUy of the instinctive reaction in 
the species, and the unlearned (iimate) character of the reaction 
in relation to a more or less d^nite range of stimulus objects or 
situations. Cei'toinly eating, drinking, breathing, sleeping, 
mating, etc., are universal human needs for all individuds in 
any social setting, no matter in what forms these needs are set 
fortli in each case. Such universality cannot be claimed for 
motives like slioring, cooperation, competition, submission, 
domination, or wealth hoarding. The comparative studies of 
sociologists and ethnologists contain quantities of convincing 
evidence that the direction of such iuterpeisonal and inter- 
group relationships is determined largely by the established 
practices and standards of tlie particular group at a particulai* 
period in its history. On the other bond, no matter whether com- 
petition or cooperation, dominance or submission, individual- 
ism or solidarity is preponderantly required from the members 
of any society, consequently making this required characteristic 
dominant in the individual membei's, we unmrsally find human 
beings (after they reach a certain age) doing certain things in 
ordei' to belong to the group and to acquire a status, whatever 
the status may be in any particular case. 

Theoi, because of the universality of the activities connected 
with belongingness and status, which psychologically may be 
called ego problems, shall we say that individualism or solidar- 
ity, competition or cooperation, and the like, are instinctive in 
the sense that prlmaiy needs like hunger or thirst areP No. This 
brings us to the crit^ion of the unleaimed nature of reactions. 
As we shall sec in Chapter 11^ the status or ego-attitudes are 
formed (learned) in the course of the genetic development of 
the individual and are shaped (in the porticul^ direction they 
will take and in their varieties) by the particular values or 
norms and practices of his particular society. Of course^ this 
social determination of status or ego-attitudes voi'ies because of 
individual diffei'ences and the peculiar case histoiy of the par- 
ticular individual. If thei'e is an innate basis for these ego-at- 



24 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

titudes other than that wliich is due to the humoral factors, 
capacities, and general conditions of the organism, and to the 
by-products of the functioning of innate needs, it is to he found 
in the human species* capacity for conceptual functioning on 
the highest cortical level. For it is only in the human species that 
we find belongingness and siaius arrangements in the sense tliat 
th^ involve lasting reciprocal identifications, loyalties, and 
responsibilities. The infant has none of these in tlie eoily ycai*s 
of his life; he learns them through social contacts and imposi- 
tions after he achieves tlie great feat of regulating his experience 
and behavior according to ang iniles or norms^ When he achieves 
this ability to grasp a set of rules or norms, thus enabling him 
to see himself in a reciprocal role in relation to those oroiuid him, 
then the status arrangements and norms of his family, his play 
group, his social setting become his own. Hence whatever pat- 
tern of interpersonal and intergroup relationsliips prevails in 
his particular social setting becomes his prevailing pattern, too. 
And these patterns vary from ^iety to society; some patterns 
include matters related to the most intimate kinship arrange- 
ments. In short, behavior related to the incUviduapB status and 
ego problems is learned and therefore cannot be included among 
the primary needs. These facts will be elaborated in Chapters 
11 and 12, when we consider sodogenic motives in more detail. 

2. A clear delineation of the essential problems of basic needs 
(instincts) has been made by Lashley.^* Such a forceful demar- 
cation clarifies Our approach to the **p8ychology of instincts 
[which] was a dynamics of imaginary forces . . . ** (j). 447). 
LasUey singles out two problems os basic m relation to innate 
instincts (needs or drives) : 

a. The problem, of **the more or less precise reactions to 
definite objects. . . . These are reactions to specific stimuli. The 
problems which they suggest are those of neural integration; 
the nature of the stimulus which elidts the response, lie pattern 
of motor activities by which a given result is achieved and, 
ultimately, the neurophysiology of the behavior" (p. 448). 

b. The problem of the ^rencrion to a deficit. . . . This rs- 
oc^zon to deprivatwn of some sUmulua preamts the typical problem 
of miivaiion** (p. 448; italics mine), 

u K. 8. I^shlev, V>. eit, . 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 25 

**Only in ca^es of reaction to a deficit is there any justification 
for introducing the notion of a drive as a source of facilitation. An 
increase in general activity or in exploratory behavior indicates 
on increased responsiveness to sUmuli not obviously related to 
the specific sensori-motor patterns of the instinctive behavior. 
There is also inhibition of reactions to other stimuli ...” 
(p. 467; italics mine). 

Once nn instinctive activity is aroused as the result of a spe- 
cific bodily deficit (such as food or water) or a specific bodily 
demand (such as that aroused an accumulation of sex hor- 
mones)} the whole organism becomes I'estless and sensitized to 
the search for the stimulus objects that are biologically sig- 
nificant for the particular ne^ prevailing at the moment. 
** There is good evidence that animals without previous ex- 
perience may give specific reactions to biologically significant 
objects and that the recognition or discrimination of ^ese ob- 
jects may be quite precise” (n. 452). ”... The exciting stimulus 
in instinctive recognition of mate or young is not mediated 
exclusively by any one sense modality” (p. 464). Yet the pre- 
cision of the recognition or discrimination of the biologically 
significant objects is not a fixed entity. The properties of the 
stimulus objects can ”be varied within limits without dis- 
rupting the reaction” (p. 466). 

In lus Physioio^al PsycAoippy,” Morgan presents in four 
chapters n concise and integrated condensation of the facts re- 
lating to biogenic needs (instincts or drives). In the following 
chapter he gives a survey of the general characteristics of bio- 
genic needs. Morgan’s characterization of biogenic needs, 
which follows, sums up their main features and is much in line 
with Lashley’s formulation of the problem; 

Motivation must be thought of in terms of patterns of nervous 
activity whidi arise not merely from receptor stimulation but also, 
and perhaps even more important, foom the direct influences of chem- , 
ical conditions in the blood. This faHem aj nmms admiy difiers ac- 
cording to the factors giving rise to U, whether these are loch of food, water, 
or the •presence of sex homones. Each pattern of activity may produce 
more or less general activity} but also speoifio form qf behavior. In 
addition, the pattern involves the set or predisposition to perceive m- 

13 C. T. Morgon, Pkj/tioIogiMl Ptyoholo^, Nov York: McGrow-HiU, 1048. 



d6 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


virmmmial sHntvli in certain ways and to gioe certain responses io these 
stimuli. Such perc^tions end responses may be said to be tlie goals 
of the motivated organism and contribute in part to Uie reduction of 
the pattern of nervous activity thati physiologically spealdng. is the 
motive (p. 4168; italics mine). 

Such a clarifyitig delineation of the essential eoi'marlcB of the 
basic needs (drives or instincts) and careful observance of tliie 
criteria (of universality and the unlearned nature of instinctive 
reactions) may pave the way to establiriiing an adequate list of 
basic needs. On the basis of such considerations) such items ns 
asoendancei submission) acquisitiveness) competitiveness) shor- 
ing) and the like) paturally drop from the list of primary needs. 
£ven a glance at ethnological &cts makes this necessary. 

Another relevant point about which we have to be careful 
before listing an observed reaction with instinctive activities 
is to make sure that the reactimi is not elicited by a peculiar set 
of drcumstances. For example) Fernberger observed that 
when groups of from to 400 albino rats were placed in a cage 

2 feet by 6 feet by S feet, many of them jumped to the wire 
screen at the top of the cage and clung there, apparently dead, 
^tually they were asleep. Probably, under such pressing con- 
dition most of the other rats would react in the same way with- 
out previous training. Shall we say, then, that rata have an 
instinct to jump up and ding to the ceiling? The reaction cer- 
tainly was caused by the peculiar circumstances of the situa- 
tion— ove^wding in a narrow place, etc. Niasen and 
Crawfewd's study of food-sharing behavior in young chirnpon- 
“ 18 another illustration of the point. Am examination of 
their ^ta seems to show that the food-sharing bcliavior which 
they observed diminished considerably, almost to tlie voiiiahing 
point, oa the amount of available food decreased. Sharing was 
observed especially in animals whose available food supply was 
swerd times laxgm* than the animal would ordinarily eat at one 

attention should be 

caUed to the fact that it is not safe to attribute a drive or need 
to one species on the basis of observations made on another 

41. 848.444^*™'*®®®' TJoWned behavior oI the albino rnt. Anw. J, Ftyohd., im, 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 27 

species^ particularly in the case of a controversial need or drive. 
For example, migration and hibernation, which are seen as 
seasonal types of instinctive behavior in cei'tain species because 
of the specific morphology and functioning of their organisms, 
are not observed in other subhuman species. Likewise, it has 
time and again been shown fallacious to posit social drives in 
man on the basis of analogies with social activities and social 
organizations of other animals such as ants, bees, wasps, and 
even subhuman primates. Before advancing generalizations 
based on analogies in other species, it may be worth vh.ile to 
remember that the continuity of social organization and culture 
in human societies is not transmitted through the genes of suc- 
ceeding generations. Therefore, eveiy generalization concerning 
a social characteristic observed in members of a subhuman 
species (including chimpanzees) should be checked by com- 
parative ethnological studies before it is advanced as valid for 
the human species as well. 

Approach to and Necessity for a List of Basic Needs 

All the preceding considerations lead to the conclusion that 
an adequate inventoiy of basic needs can be achieved only by 
keeping the basicproblema and criteria of instinctive behavior 
clearly in mind. The essential earmarks of instinctive behavior, 
we repeat, are: (1) that it constitutes a reaction to an innate 
organic demand such as a chemical deficit (e.g., of food, wat^, 
etc.) or other chemical state (e.g., accumulation of sex hor- 
mones), and (2) that it ultimately ends with '^more or less 
precise reactions to definite objects/* these reactions usu^y 
being referred to as consummatory behavior. 

Tlie minimum criteria for determining instinctive behavior in 
any animal species — again we repeat — are; (1) universality of 
the behavior in the members of the species, and (2) the un- 
learned character of such behavior. With this delineation of the 
essential problems of instinctive behavior and thm minimum 
criteria clearly in mind, it may be safe to state that the following 
should be included among the basic biogenic needs (drives or. 
instincts), subject, of course, to corrections made by investi- 
gators working in the biological sciences, for biological ne^s 
they are; 



An Outline of Social Psychology 


Hunger 

Thirst 

Activity-sleep (rest) cycle 
Breathing “ 

Sex 

Temperature regulation (avoidance of cold and heat 
differentials) 

Suckling of young 

Evacuation (urination and defecation) 

Avoidance of organic injury (?) 


An outline of social psychology is not the most appropriate 
place to present details of the ffndings concerning tlie function- 
ing of each of these needs. In Morgan’s Physiological Psychology 
the reader will find a level-headed presentation of the facts and 
specific problems connected with each of them. These neecUj 
and probably others that biological research will teach us abouti 
are the basic human needs which irrespective of the cultural 
setting and times, have to be attended to at least to a mini- 


mum degree in the canyiag out and perpetuation of the urgent 
occupation of living. They all are essential, in various degrees, 
to the functioning of the organism. For example, the disruption 
of the periodic function of breathing during a very short period, 
on the order of a few minutes, will be fatal, whereas the disrup- 
tion of drinking, eating, and mating may be endured for much 
longer periods^iffering of course in each individual. Any con- 
siderable degree of deprivation of or inattendance to these 
needs, as eveiyone who has experienced it or studied them 
knows, has corresponding psychological consequences. No mat- 
ter w^t place each occupies r^ative to being essential to tiie 
organism,^ when each need suffers various d^rees of depriva- 
tion or enjoys various degrees of satisfaction it comes to domi- 
nate tlm individual’s experience and behavior to the exclusion 
or inhibition of other needs. After a long oiid hectic day, the 

“ Wb Inclu^ here in Mcardance with the following reiharha of Morgan 

(op. ci/., p. 488) ; ^ be aiw, reapvotory bebarior b not very relevant to most nliuoa 
of piyohirfogy, for it probably ployi an exceedingly minor role in learniM and seldom 
eirt«8 into coiuoi^ experience. Oespiration is, nevertholcas, motivated hahovlor. 
Indwd, rt u a modd of wch behavior in that it ii relatively simple bohavior wlioae 
mecbamim is much better understood than otbe meebaDUms of motivation; and its 
study offers some suggestions for the interpretation of other facts of motivation.'* 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 29 

need for sleep and rest usually dominates other needs and other- 
wise fascinating activities. If a normal person misses a meal or 
two for some reason, hunger dominates his whole experience and 
behavior. Goldstein,^’ who took a definite stand against specific 
drives (the “so-called drives” in his terminology) in his efforts 
to establish the single general drive — ^i.e., the drive for self- 
actualizatioa — remarks nevertheless, “If a human being is 
forced to live in a state of hunger for a long time, or if there are 
conditions in his body which produce a strong hunger feeling, 
so that he is urged to relieve this feeling, it disturbs the self- 
actualizatioii of his whole personality” 20£). After stating 
tliis fact, he goes on in the interests of his. systematic position: 
“Then he appeal's as if under a hunger drive. The same may be 
the cose wi^ sex” (p. 202; italics mine). The extensive hunger 
studies made on conscientious objectors during World War II 
which we will review briefly, mid tlie profound socio-political 
consequences of there being hundreds of millions of hungry 
people in Europe and Asia today render theorizing in terms of 
“ as if under a hunger drive ” a little less attractive. In our opin- 
ion, we do not have to resort to such attenuations in defending 
the perfectly defensible organismlc position, which holds that 
typical reactions of the organism are not fragmentary and that 
the conceptual or abstract level of psychological functioning is 
the level of human functioning in normal conditions of 
civilffledUfe. 

A survey of the various biogenic needs, such as that presented 
by Morgan,^* is sufficient to convince lie reader that, besides 
broad generalizations which may be valid on the whole concern- 
ing motivation, there ai'e specific functional problems in each 
case which have their psycliological implications as well. It will 
not carry us for just to learn general facts concerning sense 
modalities; we have to understand the functioning of specific 
sense organs and their particular place in tJie whole nervous 
system before we can know anything about seeing, hearing, and 
Idle like. We have to know at least something about the rods 
and cones in the retina and the basilar membrane in the inner 
ear to have any understanding of seeing and hearing respec- 

.Kurt Goldfiteln, The OrgmUm^ York: American Book, 1080. 

C. T. Morgan, op. oU, 



30 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

tivdy. Likewise we have to learn, from the current work in 
physiology, as much as Mssible about the functioning of 
biog pnin needs, their activation and adequate stimuli in 
each case, before we can acquire move precise knowl^ige 
about biologically significant stimulus objects. Aftw all, objects 
are biologici^y signSlcant only in relation to definite biological 
needs. Of course, our main, concern is motivation-environment 
correlations and their modifications on the psychological level. 
The more precise findings on the physiological level can con- 
tribute greatly to the solution of our psychological problems. 
The psychology of motivation cannot be entirely alien or con- 
tra^ctory to the facts of motivation on the physiological level. 

Before we close this section, it will be pertinent to coll at- 
tention to a generally known fact which is fundamental in socio- 
economic relation^ips. It is noteworthy for social psychology, 
in particular, that the degree of biologic^ usefulness of adequate 
stimuli does not in all cases determine the degree of social com- 
plications they create. As Cannon pointed out in his classic, The 
Wisdom of the Body,” “Some of die needs are satisfied gratui- 
tously. Oi^geu and sometimes water also, we may have at will, 
without cost. It is noteworthy that in cities a supply of water is 
obtained only by community action and at public expense. 
There ore other needs, however, which in the long run are quite 
as urgent as the needs for water and oxygen, and which at times 
cannot be satisfied because of the lade of social stability. These 
ore the elementary requirements of food and shelter (clothing, 
housing and warmth) and the benefits of medical coi'C “ (p, 205 ) , 
Needs which depend greatly on the whole socio-economic scheme 
for their satisfaction (e.g., food, shelter, and sex) are of urgent 
concern as internal factors in the field of social psychology. 

The inability of individuals, because of peraouol or socio- 
economic circumstances, to meet the demands of biogenic needs 
has psychological consequences that produce major ^ects, in 
corresponding degrees, on the total pwsonality of the individual. 
TVe shall present a few examples of the effects of such depriva- 
tions in Chapter 4 . The far-reaching effects, on the whole es- 
tablished socio-economic structure, of widespread deprivation 
suffered by masses of people will be the major concern of Chap- 

1* W. B. Cannon, The Wisdom V Bodp, New Yotks Norton, 108S. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 31 

ter 16. The consequences of such widespread deprivation of 
biogenic needs constitute one of the major areas of fruitful 
research for social psychology today. Here the social psycholo- 
gist has one of the most suitable fidds for the study of genuine 
group formation and of various aspects of collective phenomena 
and collective emergence. At Ihe present time, it is rather the 
politicians who are realistically treating these grim problems as 
th^ force themselves on our attention. These problems have 
not yet succeeded in ocqufring a focal place in the genteel tra- 
dition of academic social psychology. 

Emotional Molivation 

A consideration of motives necessitates at least a brief char- 
acterization of the almost baffling subject of emotions. The wdl- 
known human emotions (fear, anger, startle, etc.) are elicited 
primarily by external stimuli or stimulus situations. The ex- 
ternal stimulating conditions that arouse emotions (at least on 
the adult human level in any society) are frequently social 
situations — other persona or gi'oups, danger situations, excited 
meetings, mass situations, etc. ^erefore any treatment of 
emotions necessarily becomes social psychology. 

There may be a substantial grain of truth in the position 
taken by McDougoU^'’ and others that instinctive strivings 
(e.g., hunger, sex) and acts ore accompanied by appropriate 
emotions. This seems to be a fact of everyday me experience, 
especially when instinctive strivings and activities take place 
after a period of deprivation. But aside from being parts of in- 
stinctive activities, there ore unmistakable facts of emotion 
which may or may not be related to the grip of a biogenic need, 
in some degree, on the organism. Tear and rage, for example, 
are among the emotional reactions which, no matter by .what 
diverse situations they ore aroused and no matter how their 
expression is regulated in various cultures, seem to appear 
universally in all human groups. They are universal and un- 
learned in infants of the human species, of course subject to 
diverse regulations regarding the manner and the degree in 
which they are expressed in various ctiltui’es; they are thus 
regulated perhaps even more than the basic needs are. 

** Ai formulated eapeoially in his OulUnt <4 



32 An Outline of Social Psychology 


As pointed out by Morgan.®^ these fundamental biogenic 
emotions (e.g., fear and anger) have the same general proper- 
ties as the biogenic needs; hence the necessity of including tliem 
under the topic of motivation. To be specific: (1) They tend to 
persist at least until the stimulus situation that arouses tliem is 
perceived to be removed (anger) or escaped (fear). (3) The 
emotional state grips the entire organism, especially tlirough 
the involvement of autonomic functions. (8) Yet, “there are 
also spedfie forms of behavior coiled out by emotional stimuli” 
(p. 464). Examples of these specific forms of behavior are get- 
ting away from the danger situation in the case of fear, and 
striving to remove the o&tacle in the case of anger. (4) These 
emotional states also mobilize and prime the organism for cm*- 
tain ends in relation to the situailon. In other words, tliese 
“emotional states supply a set or preparation for i^eaotious to 
stimulus situations” (p. 464). 

The great difference between die two kinds of motivated 
state is that iJte aiimulua eondiiion in the emotional state is ftc- 
iemal (e.g., danger situation or obstacle), whereas it is mainly 
internal or organic (e.g., “depletion of food reserves, loss of 
water, and the accumulation of sex hormones”) in tlie case of 
needs or drives (pp. 468-464). 

The fact that ^e stimulus condition is external (at least at 
the outset) makes social factors much more important in tlie 
case of emotional motivation, for many of the situations aroUvS- 
ing fear or anger that the individual faces throughout his life aro 
social. 

"We ore not yet in a position to list the universal and un- 
learned emotions in man and the original stimulus conditions 
("unconditioned stimuli”) that arouse them. Ever since Watson 
made his classical but rather^short list (fear, anger, and love), 
several authors have made attempts in diis direction. We think 
that fear, rage, disgust, and starUe will be included in the final 
list of basic human emotions.®® 

As the functioning of biogenic needs is regulated culturally, 
so the functioning, form, expression, and the very arousal of 

C. T. Morgan, oj>. oi*<. 


“We think that other emotionally tinged phenamena such as ahamo and anxiety, 
which areao important in human rolalioiulilps, ore dopendent on tho ilevotopmenUf 
the ego. We shall touch on this problem later, in obap. 11. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 33 

the fundamental emotions are socially determined. The fact 
that the stimulus condition that arouses emotion is to 

start with mokes it more liable to social regulation and de^ 
termination, No wonder, then, that "the explorer and the 
anthropologist aometimea have difficulty in ‘reading* native 
faces. **** So much so that even the shedding of tears, which is 
usuaUy elicited involuntarily under conditions of considerable 
grief and misfortune, may become voluntarily controlled and 
socially regulated. "Thus the Andaman Islimder learns how 
and when to cry (witliout feeling sad). When an important man 
retums after a long absence, one weeps copious tears; the foun- 
tains ore under control, can be released for exhibition to the 
ethnologist even when the normal occasion is lacking" (p. 
154). Even intense emotions expressed in instinctive activities 
become socially regulated in the manner in which they ai'e ex- 
pressed. The different types of actions for carrying out sexual 
behavior in various cultures may be mentioned as one of the 
striking illustrations of the point. The social determination of 
emotions is even more strikmg when we look at the manifesta- 
tion of emotions in social situations which take place in cul- 
turally prescribed channels. To cite one example — in America, 
it is customary to open a gift in the presence of the giver, to 
express appreciation of it in superlative terms, and to exhibit 
great joy over it whether you like it or not. ,Iii the Near East, 
until recently the established behavior under similar conditions 
was to thank the donor in rather humiliated terms and then to 
put the gift inconspicuously away until the giver had left. 

Not only ore the forms of e^mressing emotions and the situa- 
tions calling them forth socially regulated, but the degree of 
expression and even the amount of general expressiveness also 
nm along prescribed social channels. The example of an English 
gentleman in England and his highly repressive American 
grandson illustrates the point clearly.** 

In spite of all these variations, the social psychology of emo- 
tional motivation should be the same for all cultui'es. In short, 
this means that there ore established social norms in regard to 

” G. Murpliy, V, B. Miirpliy, aiuI T. M. Newcomb, op. oii., p. 153. 

^ Klioeberg’a survoy prewnta foacmating exampica of cultural variations in *tnn . 
tionol expression and control. See 0, Kliaeberg, SoeUil Ps{ioAoio(^, Now York. Hrary 
Holt, 1040, pp. 160-303. 



S4 An Outline of Social Psyckology 

emotions as well as otker psychological functions and that cer-< 
tain situations ai'e standardized as particular stimulus situa- 
tions to elicit cei'tain standardized emotional reactions. An 
adequate psychology of the formation and functioning of at- 
titudes should present essentially valid principles for the regu- 
lation of emotions and for the manifestations of sociogenic 
emotional reactions. No amount of evidence concerning cul- 
tural variations in the expression of emotions (or in anything 
else, for that matter) will be augment to enable us to fomukto 
a social psychology of emotion and feeling. We must first have 
a more rounded psychology of the baffling topics of feeling and 
emotion. 


Learned or Sociogenic Motives 

We, as grownups, do not eat, male, and sleep in any old way, 
but in certain definite ways, with certain objects and in certain 
places which are mainly preacribed by our social settings what- 
ever this particular setting may be. If we are Chinese in China 
(under ordinary conditions) we may not be quite satisfied witli 
our meal if rice is not included in it. If we are good Catholics, 
we will not indulge in steaks on ^days, but willlook for smelts, 
lobster, or other defioacies from the ocean. Under ortlinaiy 
conditions, any old bed will not do. We want to live and sleep 
m a certain locality where the people are "nice,” or in a hotfi 
on the level with OAir standards. Similarly with our mates. The 
BtMdy girl or boy fi-iead, or lasting mate, has to bo a person who 
Will not constitute a threat to our social standing in our group 
and who has certaiii socially and pei-sonally approved features 
mat go with our values of masculinity or femininity. We may 
fed utterly frustrated if we do not succeed in joining a cei-tain 
orgomzation or club, or going to a certain college. We may feel 
left out if we we not able to wear a certain fraternity or somitv 
pm. Likewise, our enjoyment of playing golf on a beautiful 
links may not be so complete if we idealize that our next-door 
^ghbop pays a thouasud dollars more u year to belong to his 

These are only a few examples of the way that the tastes 

S ™ acquire ee we grow up in a social setting 
affect us. There are hundreds of such tastes and motvvea that 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 85 

we acquire os we see nice things around us and achieve belong- 
ingness to various groups in sociely. These acquii'ed tastes and 
motives increase in niunber as the social organization becomes 
more highly devebped and more highly differentiated. They 
ai'e infinitely more numerous if we belong to the upper stratum 
of the leisure class of a highly developed and we^thy society. 
We have to ke^ up with our ejmluaive set in hundreds of ways. 
It may become of majof concern to us if we cannot entertain 
members of our set, whose nationality may differ fmm our own, 
in our exclusive yacht dub or private swimming pool. Like- 
wise, we dei'ive special satisfaction in describing our eventful 
vacation on the letterheads of internationally approved hotels 
or resorts. 

None of these tastes and motives ore present at birth, nor do 
they develop spontaneously as a consequence of maturation. 
They are acquired through learning as the result of training on 
the port of grownups and by membership in play, church, 
school, and oSier groups within the reach oi the individual. To 
be sure, not oU individuals brought up in contact with the same 
groups dovelw exactly the same tastes and motives.There ore 
individual differences within hmits. At birth and thiOUgh the 
process of maturation, only the basic motives — ^the biogmic 
ueeds^ore present. And th^ are satisfied by a well-d^ned 
range of biologically significant stimuli or objects— milk, water, 
food, etc. Beyond the necessary caloric requirement, at this 
level we do not require food at a particular restaurant with a 
special atmosphere. Nor is a bed in a certain desirable part of 
the city, or water or drink served by a butler necessary for bio- 
logical satisfaction. Of course, a certain baby may prefer moth- 
er’s' milk to a formula recommended by the doctor, or vice 
versa. A certain crib may be more comfortable for the baby 
than another one. But, as pointed out by Lashl^, the range of 
biologically significant stimuli and objects is well defined within 
certain limits. This range does not include the praoHee of con- 
summatory behavior in a million-dollor mansion, with silver 
plates for the baby, special maids or nurses for various tasks, 
or a butler to receive tiie doctor. 

These facts lead us to say that the learned or sociogenic mo- 
tives ore derived from the social setting in which the individual 



gg An Outline of Social Psychology 

is reared, as determined by the practices, values, or norms 
prevailing in that setting at the time. As we shaJl brmg otrt at 
meater length in the next chapter, the objects and stiinuh whu* 
AtsI have value for the child are those which satisfy hia biogeuw 
needs; then the objects, stimuli, persons, and situations which 
are mstrumental to attaining or related to these biologically 
digiiificftnt 01168 acqiiir 6 uqIub for him.** All these occjuirco vo-Iues 
be included in the general problem of attitude formation, 

Acquired motives whose beginnings can be directly traced to 
the biogenic needs, i.e.j “derived drives/* are not coextensive 
with the whole range of acqiured motives. There are acquired 
motives connected with the genetically developing ego values, 
for example, which, on the contraxy, oppose— in fact, inhibit— 
the uncontrolled aatiafaction of biog^c needs or of acquired 
motives that are derivations of biogenic needs (“derived 
drives**). These ego values, ^eh collectively may be referred 
to as conaeienc 0 t are incorporated from the prevailing values or 
norms Of one's group; they are imposed by parents, scliool, 
church, play group, clique, etc. These ego values, tlius derived 
from the prevailing social velues that come to regulate behavior 
and social relationships in a major way, are not, in mony cases, 
conducive to the satisfaction of biogenic needs or the ‘‘derived 
drives** traceable to them. Grownups first demand tliat Johnny 
be a good boy; only later does Johnny himself want to be a good 
boy, In order to be a good boy, he may be required not to— and 
la^ he will not — eat before the others are served at dinner, 
even if he feels veiy hiuigry. A member who is temporarily in 
sole possession of the loot from a foray by his gang, tiie other 
members being ignorant of the amount, will not, as a good gang 
member, take part of it for himself before it is divided, even 
though taking it may mean satisfaction of his needs for a longer 
period, A Ca^olic priest or min, once dedicated to tiie service of 
the Church, may not indulge in sex activity, in spite of a straiig 
urge to do so. A good Hindu whose food supply is very scarce 
does not consider shooting and eating certain sacred** animals 
that may be running around loose in the village. Ethnological 
literature contains much material whicli shows that entire groups 

** See G. Murphy, L. B. Mutphy, and T. M. Netrcbrnb, op, oil., cbaiM. 8, 4; £. C. 
Tolman, Motivation, learoing and odjiutmoot. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 37 

will not even touch many plants or animals which constitute 
perfectly good foods. 

We cite tliese illustrations in order to touch upon one of the 
crucial topics of controversy. According to the psychoanalytic 
approach, nil the social values and ego values (conscience ^ 
superego) are derivatives of basic drives (primarily sex in the 
orthodox Preuclian brand of psychoanalysis). This is an utter 
denial of the stubborn fact of »m&rg$nce8 in group interaction 
(see Chaptei's 5-7). To be sine, people associate and interact 
primarily to secure satisfaction of ^eir basic biogenic needs. 
But once interaction occurs imd continues, there emerge 
products (standards, values, or norms) whicli in turn acquire a 
reality of their own and act as real factors, in their own right, 
in the determination of individual or group behavior. Once such 
a superstructure of norms comes into existence, it tends to con- 
tinue even after the people who took poit in the original inter- 
action are no longei* present. The conditions whi& brought 
about the original contact and interaction may change, but the 
products (vahies or norma) keep on regulating the experience 
and behavior of new members and even new genei-ations, with 
perhaps certain modifications. Grownups are effective in deal- 
ing with their offspring rather ns carriers of this supei'structure 
of nonns or values, nor is such a superstructure generated anew 
by each generation or by tlie particular father-mother-child 
relationship. Hence the social values incorporated in the in- 
dividual may or may not be in harmony with the satisfaction 
of his basic needs. In short, UQt all the acquired motives of the 
individual are derivatives of basic needs. 

But whether tlxey are such derivatives or not, all the acquired 
values and motives diiected toward acquired values come under 
the general heading of attitude formation and the psychology 
of attitudes. The ego or status motives, which are so crucially 
important in interpersonal and group relationships, certainly 
constitute one of the central areas of acquired motives. We 
shall deal with diem in Part H, when we give a more detailed 
account of sociogenic motives. 

The learned or acquired character of these motives does not 
make them unreal. They affect individuals and mobilize them 
to strive for the fulfillment of their desired goals with various 



38 An Outline of Social Psychology 

degrees of intensity and absorption as long as they last, The 
person who is znotiyated by them does not stop to tliink that he 
can easily dispense with them; as long as he is in theh grip, they 
ore real and absolute to him.^^ Thus a socialite will strive ear~ 
nestly to keep slender and to be seen in fashionable spots wearing 
the latest styles, even if it means saciihcmg food and sleep, up 
to a certain point. A college student whose mind is set on be^ 
longing to a certain group or club on the campus will move 
heaven and earth to become a member, even though membeis 
ship provides no satisfaction other than distinction. Persons 
who have been in solitary confinement report that tliey would 
^viHingly have sacnficed food and sleep (up to a certain point) 
to be able to chat with a human being for an hour. 

However, we have to keep in mind that no matter liow real 
and how absolute acquired motives are felt to be, they consti- 
tute the superstructure of human motivation. As the depriva- 
tion of biogenic needs (sleep, food, or water) begins to grow 
intense, the individual returns or regresses to the level which is 
dominated by the biogenic needs, and the superstructure of the 
acquired motives is subject to collapse in various degrees, Eye- 
witnesses in the areas now under the stress of hunger give grim 
reports of such collapse. In conflicts between strong urges tvris- 
ing from hunger or sex derivation and conscience (ego values), 
it is usually the conscience that loses out. The hundreds of ciisos 
of petty stealing and of man's ungentiemanly conduct toward 
woman ore Illustrations of the point. 

Of course there are men and women who so intensely become 
syn^ola of a social ideal, a movement, or a doctrine that they 
achieve the supreme feat of/oremy ilwmselvea to deprive tliem- 
sid-ves to bitter end, even to death. The lives of sudi persons 
to the highest models of personality integration and are very 
illuminating as such. Except for periods of great transitions, 
(mses, war, and revolution, such people constitute tlie few at 
the extreme end of the normal distribution. 

Besistance to or vacillation between the strong instinctive 
urges of s^ or hunger on the one side and the dictates of main- 

of abnormal- 
ities. Ihese abnormal consequences fall rather in the field of 

“ Sw G. Murpliy, I. B. Murphy, and T. M. Newcomb, op. oii., p. IflS. 



Motives m Relation to Social Psychology 39 

abnormal psychologists, although we must o£ course learn, as 
much hom them os possible. However, exclusive preoccupation 
with individual abnormalities usually leads to the neglect of 
the central problems of social psychology. 

General Orientation In the Fsydiologjr of Motivation 

In the next two chapters we shall deal briefly with the domi- 
nant place of biological needs in the human infant, some recent 
experimental studies of humoa motivation, and tlie effects of 
relatively prolonged deprivation of biogenic needs. Before con- 
sidering this evidence, it will hdp in giving us some vantage 
points if we seek at least a minimum general orientation in the 
psychology of motivation. 

During the past few decades, there has been a rapidly 
accumulating body of reseorcli on various phases of the 
psycliolo^ of motivation, Noiable among these studies are the 
brilliant investigations of Khhler, Tolman and his associates— 
Blodgett, Elliot, Honzik, Krechevsky, and others— and Warden 
^d his associates.” Thanlts to these and other investigations, 
it may be safe to state that a major line of orientation has been 
taking shape. More recently the expiadmentel work by Mur^y 
and his associates, Sanfotri, and Bruner substantiates at least 
certain aspects of this general orientation on the human 

Behavior that is motivated by a need (instinct or drive) may 
be characterized as behavior which is at first innate (un- 
learned) and common to all members of the species, This in- 
nate bchAvwr may appear at birth or later through maturation, 

" For flxnmplo, W. Ktihler, The J^gniaUit/ of Apts, Netf York; Harcouil;, Btace, 
1026} E, C, XoImuD, FurpoMM Fdhavior in Animlt and Ifen, New York: Applobm- 
Ccntiiiy, 1032; E. C. ^Iman, MoUvatkA, lumuig aod odJuBtinenti E. G, Iktlman, 
Drives Toward War: C. J. Wnrdoo, Anit%(d Ut^vatien, Now York: Columbia TJni- 
vorslty Press, 1081, 

** It. Leyino, I, Clieln, nnd G. Murpiiy, The relation of tho intensity of a iie ed to 
the amount of peraeptual distortion: a prdinunniy report, Pspdkd., 1046, 18, 28^ 
608} H, Froshansky and G, Murplgr, The effects of reward and punishment on per- 
oeption, J. PiyoAoi., 1042, 18, 206-800} £. Bchafer and G. hfuu>hy, The role of antism 
in a viwal ligure-ground relatlonshlpi J. Espw. Pepehel., 1048, 82, '880-648; H. N*. 
Sanford, The effects of abstinence from food upon imapnal procesaes: a prelimlnoiy > 
experiment, J. Pepekd., 1636, 8, 180-186; B. N. Sanford, The effects of abstinence 
from food upon, imaginalprooesaes: a further experiment, J.FsgoAof., 1087,8, 140-100; 

3. S. Bruner and C. C. Goodman, Value esd n^ os organiring faoto^ in perception, 

J . Abn, <fi 8oo. PepokoL, 1047, 42, 88-44. 



40 An Outline of Social Psychology 

It is aroused (in most cases) by some pei*iodicaIly recun-ing 
organic need (such as hunger for food, thirst for water) whidi 
activates and heightens the motor, sensoiy, and centi*nl (jjer- 
ceptual-aymbolie) functions of the individual and renders him 
highly selective in the direction of tiie goal object or situation. 
If the need continues and grows more intense, such motivated 
behavior persists until the goal object or situation is readied, 
and it ends in a specific pattern of consununatory behavior, 
thereby satisfying the need. 

We have already said in this chapter that biogenic needs iu*c 
common to all members of the species and that they are un- 
learned. They may be present at birth, as in the cose of sleeping, 
breathing, evacuation, and suckling (though tlie lost in par- 
ticular may be crude at birth), or they may appear later, like 
sex, tlirough maturation. For example, Stone observed sexual 
behavior in an animal brought up in isolation and with almost 
all the receptor organs eliminated.^ 

Moat of the biogenic needs (hunger, thirst, sleep, breatliing, 
probably sex desire) recur periodically, or cyclically witli shorter 
or longer intervals of pexiodioity. Of course, this holds true 
only before such physiological rhythms are modified or regu- 
lated by social oud other factors. We see such periodicity, at 
least in a general way, in the recurrent needs of tlie human 
infant, subject within limits to individual variations and to 
modifications as the child grows up under varying circuin- 
stances. Taking the hunger cycle as an illusti'ation of the point. 
Stone gave a concise formulation of the periodic arousal of 
biogenic needs: ^*It starts with hungei* con^actious, whicli by 
many physiologists are thought to be the instigators of the 
sear^ for raw foodstufis. Then the locomotor apparatus comes 
into action, the sense organs are utilized to differentiate ob- 
jects, and past experience plays a determining role in the choice 
of hunting grounds, the discoveiy of prey, tlie chase, tlie kill, 
and the consummatory act” (pp. 76-70^ (See Fig. 1.) Of course, 
“searching for prey,” "chase,” and "desti'uction of prey” in 
the figure should be expressed in terms of the various degrees 

” C. P. Stone, Further itudy of senaopy functioOB in the Activation of sexual be- 
havior in the youog albino rat, J. Oowy, Psycht^,, lOSS, 8, 400-178. 

« C. P. Stone, "Motivation/' chap. 4 » F. A. Moss (cd.), CommridiM PtyohoUmi, 
New YopJe; Prentiee-Hall, rev. ed., 19«. 



Motives in Kelation to Social Psychology 41 

of refinement lesulting from social I'egulatioiis at diiferent Age 
levels and in different social settings. Sleep cycles and *'the 
change from polyphasic to monophasic sleep from birth to 



adulthood*' are represented in Fig. 2. Modifications due to the 
individual's environmental setting hold for the sleep cycle also. 



One Year 


••••-Four Years 



Ten Yesis 



Adult 


SPAf. 12 eA.M. 12 6F.M. 


Fto. 2. The change from polyphasic to monophasic sleep as the individual 
grows up. (From N. Kleitioan, Sleep and Wakrfulnese, Chicago: University 
of Chicago Press. 1090.) 


But whatever the social variations may be> under ordinary 
conditions tliere will be some degree of periodicity in each set- 
ting which can vary only within certain limits. For example, 

** Figs. 1, S, and 4 oro reproduced by permission of Frendce-Hall, Inc., from 
Chapter 4 by Calvin P. Stone of Comparoitee Paycholo^y edited by F. A. Moss. Copy- 
right. 1084, 1942, by Prentice-Hall, Inc. 



4 a An Outline of Social Psychology 

except for days of fasting, there will be more or less i*egular 
mealtimes during the day. "Although individual cycles may 
vary in detail from species to species, and in the same individual 
from day to day, their broader outlines are repeated over and 
over in the lifetime of the individual” (p. 76). This recui*i*ence is 
shown in Fig. 3 as schematized by Stone. Some of the needs are 
"mutually antagonistic” and inhibit each otlier; consequently 



Pto. 3. ScheouLtic repreaentation of periodic rccuircncc of an inatinctivo 
activity in brood outline without modincations duo to cultural regulation or 
the age level of the organism. 


they operate successively and the cycles of the various needs 
differ in duration. These iuteirelationships are represented in 
Fig. 4. 'We repeat again, these 01*6 merely schematizations of 
purely physiological, biogenic need cycles without the modiff- 
cations and complications arising from cultural factors; we are 
fully aware of the social regulation of the functioning of the 
basic needs. Nevertheless, these simple diagrams will soi'vo to 
develop various points when we discuss the social effects of 


Keprodoetlo^^' 
Kutrltton — ^ 



Fio. 4. Schematic representation of the diffcxential pmodici^ of various 
needs in the organism. Modifications duo to cultural factors are not 

represented. 


deprivations in Fart III. Forj if the social regulatibn of basic 
needs or a scarcity of objects that satisfy them disrupts tlieir 
periodic recurrence beyond certain points, these needs ” back- 
fire, ” so to speak, and lead individu^s to new pursuits for tlieir 
satisfaction, and, in turn, the superstructure of culture suffers. 

Heightened motor activity, the restless state of the organism 
under the spell of on aroused need b best represented by the ad- 
mirable findings of Richter, one of the outstanding investigators 



Motives in Belation to Social Psychology 48 

in the field of motivation. As his figures are 8elf-es5)lanatory, it 
will suffice simply to reproduce one of them (Pig. 5 ), Such 
bodily activity related to -hunger contractions was observed on 
the human level by TVada.** Anyone can easily observe such 
activity in a hungry human iufant. But as Lnshley *• cautions, 
this relationship between hunger contractions and heightened 


Time in Hours 



Stomach ContrscUons 




Pio. 0. Schomatic represoaUtion of the relotloa between periods of gross 
bodi^ activity and stomacb contractions. 

A. Simple activily cage without food. B> Double cage with food. (From 
C. P. Bichter, Animol behavior and Internal drives^ Quart, Bsv. Bidt., 10S7, 2, 
812.) 

bodily activity should not he taken too literally. The activity 
does not stop abruptly with the cessation of stomach con- 
tractions. 

The fact that motivated b^vior persists in a. state of rest- 
lessness, with the motor, sensory, and central (perceptual- 

' B T. Woda, Experimental study Of hunger in its relaUon to ooUvi^. Arch, PquM.* 
1922, no. 57. 

N K. lAshlay. op. eft. 


44 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

aymbolic) functions sensitized in the direction of the goal objMt 
or situation, has been observed by almost aJl investigators m 
field of niotivation--and by anyone who has exp^ienced it, tor 
that matter. One simply cannot canalize or sublimate mmgei*, 
thirst, or aleeplesaneas into other chanuds beyond a certain 
point. In the following general formulation Cannon, an out- 
standing phyaologist, gives a concise Bummaiy of to fact: 
“Each of these states (liunger or thirst] is associated with an 
impulsive factor; each one more or less vigorously spurs or 
drives to action; each may be so disturbing as to force the per- 
son who is afflicted to seek relief from intolerable annoyance or 
distress. ... If the requirements of the body arc not met, in uiis 
mild and incidental manner, hunger pangs and thirst arise as 
powerful, persistent and tormenting stimuli which imperiously 
demand the ingestion of food and water before they will cense 
their goading. By these automatic mechanisms the necessary 
supplies for storage of food and water are mode certain, •'* 

The fact that the motor, sensory, and higher psycliologicol 
functions are mobilized and are thus rendered highly selective 
in the direction of the goal object or situation is amply sub- 
stantiated by findings from diverse sources and areas of re- 
search. Thanks to the research of all outstanding authwities in 


the fiel' 
crimina 


low that children’s earl 


■en’s early perceptions and ilis- 

concem objects and persona that satisfy 

their needs. During the past decade the fact that perceptions are 
not mere cognitive affairs has become a principle firmly 
grounded on &ct and it is being substantiated almost from day 
to day by nefw facts. Perceptions arc highly selective, llieir very 
organization being determined not solely by the piopeitues of 
the external stimuli but, at times, preponderantly by internal 
factors that are operating currently. iSlotivating states of the 
individual, such as lust and hunger, as well as attitudes formed 
during the course of his development are among the major 
examples of these internal factors. 

We especially emphasize the selectivity of perceptions as de- 
termined by motivated states of tbe individual. The selectivity 


** yV. B. Cannon, op. oit., pp. 75-76. 

* In the seue tued by W. Killer in Quiali Piyohology, MTow York; Livorigbt, 
1600. 



Motives in Belation to Social Psychology 45 

of perception is coining more and more to be taken os the pro- 
totype o£ the selective nature of all “higher” psychological 
functions. To cite just a few examples, Bartlett demonsti'ated 
this in the field of roineinbering; Kdhler and his associates and 
Tolinan and his students, in, the field of learning; Murphy and 
others, in various processes.’’” We shall present some of these 
findings in the next two chapters. 

The selectivity of psychological functions due to motivational 
and emotional factors la a fact of everyday experience. Only 
paycliologista of the Wundt and Titchener typo tried hard, and 
made their students and textbooks try hard, to get rid of these 
factors ill their forced abstracted analyses. The factors and 
meanings affected by such factors nevertheless intruded on 
them no matter how hard they tried to throw them into the 
wastebasket as useless nuisance. Ask a young man strolling 
restlessly in a park on a spring Sunday, ask a hungry man si^ 
ting on a park bench, oak nn elegantly dressed lady what eadi 
noticed in the park. You will almost invariably get perc^tions, 
discriminations, and memories clearly tinged by the individunl’s 
appropriate motives. 

Psychologists who were studying conditioning and stressing 
only the aspects of their results most directly related to learning 
were certainly studying motivation at the sair^Jaae/ even 
though at least some of them soft-pedaled thatJl^|tit>f their 
experimental conditions. As Lashley put it,” "h©iS^tion of 
tlie hungry animal in the maze is really effective only after the 
masse has been associated with the getting of food ” (pp. 407-468). 
Even in the case of Pavlov*s dogs, the degree of conditioning, 
the number of trials necessary, etc., were at least partly due 
to tlie condition of slight hunger; the animals were brought to 
the experimental room a precise number of hours after their 
last feeding.’’^ We Imow now as on established fact that the 
number of trials necessary to learn or to eliminate errors is in 


V Seo F. C. Bartlott, A Study in JUKpermenlal and Sooial Peyahologi/, 

Cambridge: Pnlvcraity Press. 1938; W. Kdidcr, Tho Mtnialily Apea: fi. C. ToIidbii, 
I*nrposuio Behavior in AnimaU and Men: B. Levine, I. Chein, G. Murpbyf op. oit,,’ 

H. Frosluinaky and G. Murphy, op. oil.; B. Sohofer and G. Murphy, op. oii. 

K. Iwnshley, op. oU, 

" I. P. Pavlov, Leoturot on Oondiiionod R^fiaxeo, Ne# York: InCeenatloiial Fub- 
lUhers, 1088 . 



46 Aa Outline of Social Psycliology 

port a function of the time interval betwecsn the experimental 
session and the last feeding. All in all, cognitkn and moUmtion 
and Qcti(m are not discrete functions operaHng in separate^ com- 
partmnts. They are ftmoiionalhj inaepatahly inicirelated in the 
psychological product of any given inomeni. In Tohnan*s words,®® 
”... Purposivenesa and cognitivenesa seem to go togetlier” 
(p. 13). And again, changes in performance (for better or worse) 
due to different types of goal objects take place “only by virtue 
of some sort of accompanying ^cognitive expectations’ os to the 
character of such coming goal objects ” (p. 71) . 

Methodological Remarks Suggested by the Foregoing aud 
by Morgan’s General Survey of Motivation 

The foregoing material suggests that motivational and 
cognitive (perceptual and symbolic) factora do not operate in 
separate areas; th^ all become organized to produce the 
psychological product that appears at any time. Consequently* 
the best research of recent years has come from those who have 
not placed motivational and cognitive factors in dichotomous 
droartments of psychology, but have tried to study the con- 
tribution of the various factors in a imified scheme. Wo slinll 
present further concrete evidence to this effect. In spite of this 
realistic ori^intotLon, there are still some, who from their sect- 
like confiqeiwt or preconceptions, wiite and talk in toi'ma of 
surface fragments of the conscious phenomena of ’’academic” 
psychology in contrast with the urges aud complexes of "depth” 
psychology— libido, dramatic-sounding complexes (Oedipus, 
Electra, ete.), collective uncon^dous, dozens of needs and urges* 
etc. We shall not digress here to question the scientific validity 
of these concepts, which frequently are not verified in different 
social settings. We shall only suggest that all these deptli 
phenomena are derived through free association, slips of mem- 
ory, dream analysis, distortions of perc^tion, memories, di- 
verse kinds of rationalizations, and other manifestations of 
eiqierienee and behavior whidi are themselves not infrequently 
cognitive phenomena. It is usually by relating these to the whole 
picture of the mdividual that ihey acquire their meaning as 
^mptoms of perhaps deqily rooted motivational urges. 

* E. C. Tolmatii Purpotitt BAavioT in AnimaU and ilea. 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 47 

Our concern as pi^chologists is not with bits of muscle 
twitches, isolated bits of behavior items as such. We are mainly 
concemed with the ^cperience and behavior of individuals as 
these reveal something about the whole individual. Such behav- 
ior is integrated or “molar** behavior as contrasted with 
"moleculaa'** behavior and isolated items. On the basis of this 
perfectly defensible conception of psychology, there is a ten- 
dency to ti'cat needs, drives, and t^siona as if they were not 
related to an orgmiism having a definite place in tlie scale of 
organisms. Our conceptualizations of integrated experience and 
b^avior in psychology may not have benefited fully from the 
dominant ninoteenth-century type of physiological hnowledge 
about reflexes and “mentcd (^emist^.** But this does not 
justify our Ignoring the necessity of checkmg our conclusions in 
psychology against the conclusions arrived at in the current 
physiology. Checking the conclusions arrived at on different 
levels of research will help us to work on firmer and better- 
verified ground. In the same way, sociologiats who still con- 
sider psychology as an academic pursuit of the abstract and 
artificial elements of human e^q^erience are, m our opinion, 
overlooking more precise testing grounds for their theorizing, 
For in psychology today, they will find certain of their own 
problems and their own conclusions (e.g., structural properties 
generated in group situations) being worked oatlin terms of . 
more precise variables. 

Recently Morgan mode a general formulation of the place 
and function of the central nervous system in motivated be- 
havior.^ His formulation, which is full of direct implications 
regarding the role of perception, learning, and other “higher** 
processes in motivation, is based on the extensive examination 
of a great bulk of direct physiological findings related to the’field 
of motivation. In Morgan’s own words: “The facta of motiva- 
tion reviewed in the last four chapters are greatly m need of be- 
ing drawn together into a general .conception pf the nature of 
motivation in order that their fullest significance for psychology 
can be perceived, and also in order that they may be fitted into 
the picture of learning and related functions which will emerge 
in the chapters to follow** (p. 4d7). After discussing the esseo: 

C. T. Morflaa, op> oit. 



48 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tial humoral basis ("humoral motive factor”) o£ motivation, 
he draws a general picture of the function of "neural intogi’a- 
tive” activity which he designates as the Gonfral motive state 
(c.m.s.)- His suminary account of the “central motive state” 
has a striking bearing on the methodological problem raised in 
this section. The following sUghtly abbreviate passage on the 
properties of the central motive state is significant for our 
problem: 

1. The c.m.a. appears to be partly sdl-perpetuatmg. That is to 
say, there is some reverberatory activity ... in the neurons involved 
in the c.in.a., such that neural activity, once it has been initiated, 
tends to continue. . . . Some of the reverberation maintaining the 
c.m.s. may be a purely centred affair accounted for in terms of recur- 
rent neur^ circuits; some of it, on the other hand, may be caused by 
circular, reflexive a^vity — i.e., the c.m.s. moy lead to gastric con- 
tractions, to changes in the sexual organs, or the like, and these may, 
in turn, send in afferent stimulation whii^ builds up the c.m.s. 

a. In addition to reverberation, we must postulate three behavioral 
properties of the c.zn.a. One of these is general activity. As we have 
already seen in previous chapters, an increase in body activity goes 
along with the need for food and water and, in female aninials, is 
dramatically correlated with sexual drive. Although some have argued 
that such activity arises from local tissue conditions associated with 
the drive in qu^on, the facts may be intei'preted as indicating that 
both local behavioral changes (ap., stomorii contrnctioDs) and general 
activity are the outcome of a can.s. 

3. Ano^er property of the c.ai.8. is that it evokes speeiflc forms of 
beliavior. . . . These specific forms of behavior do not depend upon 
any especial environmental condiUons and appear to be the expres- 
sion of the cm.s. 

4. A further aspect of the cjxi.e. is what may be called a sot or 
potentiality for presenting various patterns of behavior when the 
appropriate stimulus conditions in the external environment are 
availoble. This is the priming property of the c.m.a. . . . Thus tliei-e 
are forms of behavior that depend not only upon the presence of tlie 
c.m.s. but also upon external stimulus conditions, and in the absence 
of these, the c.m.8. can be said to prepare, prime, or set tlie organism 
for these forma of behavior when they become posrible. 

These three behavioral aspects of the c.m.s. — ^general activity, 
specif behavior, and the readiness to perceive and react to stimulus 
situations in particular woys— are obviously intimately related to 



Motives in Relation to Social Psychology 49 

each, other in such a way as to fonu an effective means cff eventually 
lemedying the condition which motivated the animal. In many ways* 
howcvcis the priming aspect of the c.m.8, is the most important 
feature for the psychologist. It is this which makes motivated be- 
havior appear so puiimsivet for it is the set to perceive and react in 
certain ways which defines the goal." 

Ibid.t pp. 400^01. 



3 . 

The Place and Plffects qf Biogenic Needs 
in the Life qfthe hfidividual 


TBE LIFB OF THfi ASXJI/I HmiAN IS OIlDlNAHlIiT nOGUIiATED 
chiefly by the ptevailuig echedulee^ staiidarda> valuea> or noima 
of his particukt social setting. And these vary from culture to 
culture. In his daily life he is driven by various motivesi some 
of \diich stem directly from biogenic needs or derivatives 
thereof through learning, and others of which are acquired 
through his contacts with the established standards, values, or 
norma of his special social surroundings. Even the number of 
these acquired motives varies from society to society; they are 
relatively fewer in leas developed, less differentiated aociol units, 
and almost innumerable in highly developed and differentiate 
societies, especiaJly in the leisure class. No matter how the 
biogenic needs are regulated; no matter what the kind, tlie 
number, etc., of the ** derived drives** or acquired motives may 
be; no matter how the individual may at times be driven by 
sociogenic motives so that he is almost consciously oblivious of 
the biogenic needs (in coses where these needs m-e satisfied to 
the point of bmng taken for granted), the demands of the bio- 
genic needs continue until death. The individual keeps on eat- 
ing, drinking, sleeping, keeping himself reasonably worm, etc. 
Ever-recurrent cycles of the biogenic needs continue to mo- 
tivate him. They are subject within limits to regulation in 
various of their aspects (timing, kind of stimulus objects, 
pieces, etc.) and ore liable to c^tain detours ntid deviations 
("substitutive activities”). In early infancy his behavior is 
motivated chiefly by these needs. Up to a certain stage of de- 
velopment bis psychology is dominated almost completely by 
their sa^Mon ("pleasure principle”). His earliest peiW- 
tions and discrumnations. os well as actions, appear chiefly in 

50 ^ 


Biogenic Needs in tlie Life of tiie Individual 61 

relation to biologically significant objects and are tben "canal- 
ized'* to objects and persons instrumental to aucb satisfac- 
tions. As be grows to adulthood, his perceivmg, rememberings 
learning, thinking, etc., continue to be selective in the direction 
of biologically significant goals as well as the goals and ends 
which become socially desirable to him. He ke^s on perceiving, 
at times distorting, and interpreting bis physical and social sur- 
roundings sekctwelyi primarily as motivated by his biogenic 
and sociogenic motives. Especially in the deprivation of biogenic 
needs, bis eeUdivity becomes heightened at times to morbid 
degrees, with various psychological consequences for him. 
Under stringent conditions of prolonged and intense deprivaUon. 
he becomes almost a different person; he may then recast his 
surroundings anew psychologically. 

In Fart II, we shall consider the formation and functioning 
of sociogenic motives in more detail. In this and the next chap- 
ter we shall present samples of toe concrete findings and ob- 
servations that demonstrate the facts pointed out in the above 
paragraphs. We consider them representative of the accumu- 
lating evidence from scientific research and everyday, life 
situations. Unfortunately, in an outline such as this, only a few 
illustrations con be presented. 

The Chlld^B Behavior First Dominated hj Blogenio, Needs 

The activity of a baby in toe first weeks of bis life is de- 
termined chiefly by the biogenic heeds with which he is bom. 
From the standpoint of a socialized adult, bis behavior may 
seem utterly ch^tic and haphazard. But as Gesell put it so 
colorfully : "From the standpoint of ^-week-oldness his behavior 
is patterned, meaningful, significant.’*^ And the determineis of 
this "standpoint of 4-week-ddness*’ are the physiological states 
of his organism. This general fact can be substantiated by anyone 
who coi'efully observes or cores for on infant. It stands out 
clearly in K\ C. Pratt’s summary of research on the baby from 
birth to about one month of age. The characteristics of toe 
hiuiger cycle before social regulation becomes effective, and the 

^ A. 6es«Il and F. L. llg, Ii^nt and Child in the OuUun Today, New .York: 
ECoiper. 1S4S| p. 98. 



5 a An Outline of Social Psychology 

relative efifeetivenesa of the biogenic motives and external 
stimuli in evoking activity at various phases of the cycle ore 
described dramatically: 

The alimentary canal plays a dominant role in the activity of the 
neonate. When "hunger” contractions of the stomach begini tlie 
irritability of the child increases; -with the mounting of each 
successive period of stomach contracUon the general activity spreads 
so that almost all of the musculature of the body is in action. Initially 
intermittent, feeble crying becomes continuous and intense. Ai this 
extreme height admty eery few atmuli act to ink'ihU or (^iel the child. 
In a very small percentage of the cases auditory stimuli are momen- 
tarily effective. Swinging or rocking U much more efficient, but when 
such stimulation ceases the general activity is not long in Kappeariug. 
If the cheek or Up areas are now stimulated* the head quickly tuins 
toward the source of stiznuiation. . * . 

The child, put to breast or bottle, shows aome dirntganiaation of 
sucking but soon performs with regularity and precision. The general 
activity disappears. If one now stbnulatea the organism the ordinary 
consequence is some 'modification of the sucking act. Potent Himvit 
are required to cauee the child to cease feeding if the food substonca^ he 
mother*3 milh or an accepted euhsiiiute. As the stomach fills, the sucking 
becomes iiTc^;ulac, less vigorous, with long periods of quiescence. 
During such a period of quiescence almost all types of stimuli sucli 
as dropping, a fla^ of light, pulling hair, etc., lead to renewed sucking. 

The feeffing act over, the infant lies quiescent and asleep. At this 
t«m«, aiimgh ifrUalriJiltg fs nof as ^rsat, ii is pogsibto to ohserve the 
qffeeis qf different stmulus modaliMes , ... 

During the quiescent period regurgitation, excretory activities, 
etc., may be accompanied by short periods of activity.” 

At this stage of development, the baby does not respond in a 
discriminatory way to objects or persons around him except as 
th^ satisfy or prevent satisfaction of the dominant need at the 
moment. Gesell observed that the newborn infant is **8ocially 
deaf and blind to the approach of another person who bonds 
over him and gives him every social provocation to respond.** ” 
This seems to hold true in the early weeks of life, even though 

* E. G. Pratt, Neonata.” in C. MurobiBon (ed.), A Ban^mok qf Child Pay- 
^oloey, Worcester: Clark TJniyersIty Frwe, 2nd ed., 1088, pp. SQQ-401 (iWicB mine). 

* A. Gesell and H. Thompson, Infant Behavior, lUtQanaeia and OrouAi, New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1984 , p. 087 . 



Biogenic Needs in the Life of the Individual 63 

there is eveiy indication that infants are not, as the statement 
might lead one to believe, deaf and blind in a literal sense, 

As the baby grows and develops, the opportunities for varied 
stimulation and contact with persona and objects in his en- 
vironment increase. In many respects, the most important of 
these contacts ai’iae in connection with feeding, sleep, elimina- 
tion, and other physiological functions. It is not surprising, in 
view of what is known about the effects of the biogenic needs 
on the learning process, to find that the earliest discriminatory 
responses are preponderantly directed toward persons and ob- 
jects related to the satisfaction of these needs. These are the 
persona and objects which first acquire value for the cliild. Ac- 
cording to Gesell, most children respond positively to their 
mothers by about the age of 4 months.^ On the other hand, it 
is not until several months later, according to one study, that 
babies are observed to respond with relative frequency to an- 
other child.^ It is through the observation of such discriminative 
responses that we are able to learn something about the motives 
that direct the formation and organization of children's per- 
ceptions and attitudes. This area of study in child psychology, 
as Froshansky and Murphy suggest in a study to be reviewed 
in the next diapter, may yield valuable evidence for social 
psychology concerning the basic problem of the fonUation 
(learning) of attitudes. 

As difficult as it has been for child psychologists to investi- 
gate the formation and organization of children’s perceptions, 
tile evidence indicates the major importance of biogenic needs 
in the process. In a survey of the visual perception of children, 
Vernon concludes that children are paiticularly likely to per- 
ceive their surroundings in terms of "a series of undifferentiated 
meaningful wholes, ” She motes that the structural properties 
of the stimuli are peihaps *'less important than those of bio- 
logical utility, interest and ^ective value’* in determining 
what a child perceives.^ As a result, the child responds most 
readily to the patterns which are foliar and meaningful to 
him. And these ore the fac^ of the mother, father, or whoever 

* Ibid., p. 26Z. 

' M. Mandry and M. Nekula, Sodal rdntioDs betweea childien of the sanla age 
during tile first tVo years of life, J* Qmtt. Ptnobol., ISSS, 04, 109-210, 

* M. O, Vernon, Viiual Pwception, Cambridget University Press, 1087, p. 178. 



54 An Outline of Social Psychology 

may happen to care for him for any length of time, and objecte 
similarly associated with the daily satisfaction of his biogenic 
needs, such as a bottle. 

. This tendency for children’s early perceptions to be concerned 
with persons or objects related to the satisfaction of biogenic 
needs is illustrated in a study by Beaumont and Hetzer.^ They 
observed children’s reactions to cai'ds, some of which were 
plain, some of which had colored geometric figures, and some of 
which had pictures of a woman or a cup^ On the basis of this 
observation, they concluded that until about 18 months of age 
these children showed little or no discrimination among the 
various cords. Their reactions to all the cards and patterns 
might be described simply ’’receptive manipulation.” But 
around the 18th month these childi'cn began to respond differ- 
ently to the pictures of the woman and the cup — stimuli which 
by this time had acquired value to them as instrumental in 
satisfying thdr needs. 

The dominant i^ole which biogenic needs ploy in the format 
tion and organization of children’s early perceptions may be 
demonstrated conversely by observing reactions to patterns 
which have not been related to Ihe satisfaction of their basic 
drives. Thus it has been found that children even 8 or 5 years 
old. ordinarily tend not to perceive fine and minute details in 
absti'oct patterns or to notice irregularities in geometrical 
forms.^ A common reaction of children placed in an experi- 
mental situation which calls for them to deal with abstract 
sensory qualities (such as length, color, form) is to moke repeti- 
tive or superfluous responses. Such perseverative responses 
were reported, for example, by Brian and Goodenough in a- 
yeai^olds matching colored geometrical solids and forms." 

However, saying that young children usually do not make 
fine discriminations between patterns and forms does not mean 
that they cannoi do so. On the cdntrary, experiments have 
shown that, when properly motivcMy young children ore able 

’ H. Seaumont and H. Hetser. SponUne Zuwcodur^ su! Ltcht utid Fottou In 
ersten lebenajolir, Zlteh./. «. Pkyaiol. d. SmtMorg, ISSS, llS, aso-SOT. 

* W. litBe, Tbe devel<qHn«ivt o! vis\uil percepiton, Brii. Jf, Pa^hiA, Monogr., 1031, 
No. 15. 

* C. B. Bnan end 7. L. Goodenoush, The rdetive potenor of color and form poiv 
eeption nt Terious Agee, Esp», Piyahol,, 1 883, IS, 197-S18. 



Fia. 0. A sug^tivo pliotogmphic reprcscnUtioo of the Belectrvily of the 
child’s percopticQS. (By £(fs photogmpher Herbert Gohr. 0 Time, Inc.) 





Biogenic Needs in the Life of the Individual 55 

to discern quite £ne differences! In the case of young childreui 
the effective motivation is that of biogenic needs. In a study 
by Munn and Stcining,^^ a 15-mouth-old child learned to dis- 
ci'iminate between two boxes on the basis of small block and 
white geometrical designs on the cover. He found a piece of 
chocolate in the "correct” box at each trial. When he had 
leai'ned the discriminatioiit he continued to choose correctly 
even when the figure on the "correct” box was rotated 45 
degrees, when the background of the “correct” design was 
changed, and when a different form was used on the cover of 
the empty box. Even finer discriminations were made by the 
two fairly hungry iS-year-olds that Gellerman used in a similar 
study A comparison of these results with those obtained in 
studies in which no reward related to a biogenic need was given 
suggests vividly the primacy of biogenic needs in regulating the 
behavior of young children, and their importance in the learn- 
ing process. 

Another line of evidence leading to the above conclusion lies 
in the development of language behavior. As we shall see later 
(Chapter 8, pages 198-201), there seems to be a significant 
tendency for the development of children's perceptions and con- 
cepts to have a subilar course. Here, however, we ^all merely 
cite a few illustrations of language behavior to show the im- 
portance of biogenic motives in the learning process. It is 
commonly observed in everyday life that children's early general- 
izations, Uke their early percep^ona, may be extremely broad and 
flexible. For example, a child may learn "juice” in connection 
with his daily orange juice and proceed to apply it to any and 
ail liquids which he drinks or wants to drink. A 2-year-old child 
with whom we leafed through a magazine called ^1 the women 
in the pictures "mamma.” A year-old-child, Cindy, used 
“mama” to designate anyone who waited on or cared for her; 
even her 8-year-old brother aiid her 5-year-old sister were called . 
**mamma.” Such on early generalization may be “general and 
80 flexible that it is often practically without meaning to on 

*** N. L. Munn and B. R> Stelningi Tha relative efficacy of form and background in 
a cbild’s discrimination of visual patteniSi J. OmM. Iddl, 80, 79-80. 

L. Wi GdlecDUUi VocndlscciminaUoa iu chimpanaees and two-ycai-old childreu.. 
I. DiscriminRtioo of form jMr m. II. Form ranua background, /, 8ene;. PajmAoi.j 
1089. 4S, 1-SO. 



50 An Outline of Social Psychology 

adult,** In contrast) children even 8 years of age may show 
an apparent inability to generalize or extend on equivalent 
reaction to stimuli of a more abstract class of objects or rela- 
tions such as *‘roundnes8**“ or ‘‘middle-sizediiess.** “ One of 
the clues to an explanation of such differential results seems to 
be the connection between the class of objects or relations and 
the satisfaction of biological needs. Cliildren’a first wordsj like 
their early perceptions, tend to relate to persons and objects 
more or less cloady concerned in such satisfaction. For example, 
Gesell found that the most frequent early words of the children 
he observed at 52 weeks of age were for ** things to eat, ** He 
also noted that for a time a child may say “bye-bye** to his 
father but apparently be unable to say it to anotiier person. 

Although ^is and other evidence from child study points 
to the conclusion that the objects and persona which first ac- 
quire value for the child are related to the satisfaction of his 
biogenic needs (drives), this does not mean that his attitudes 
toward these objects and persons are formed once and for all in 
a stable and lasting way. On the contrary, because his actions 
ore BO strongly under grip of these needs (hunger, thirst, 
sleep, temperature regulation, etc.), the baby*s or young child's 
heavier is not, in an adult sense, consiHent. For example, Lewin 
observed that even after an in^t recognizes his mother and 
other persona in his environment, the relationship with them 
does not for some time “become a stable constituent of the 
child’s pyschological environment.’* The bond between mother 
or nurse and infant is one "in which, fcnctionally, the [biologi- 
cally important] needs of the baby have primacy. ** « A ^ild 
may customwily react positively to his mother; but let her 
deprive him of his meal or delay it, and you will see him turn 
on her with oU the explosive intensity of which he is capable. 
Even during the course of a child’s hunger and rest cycles (as 
modified by the schedules prevailing for his age group and 

“ I,. Long. Conceptual lelationslilpa in chilcIreD: TJ» concept of roundneas. J 
Omet. Paifehol., 1940. 57. 289-815. 

» m. 

** J. D. Hides and P. D. Stewart, Ilw loarning of abstract concepts of siae. Child 
Daelop^t 1930. 1, 105-208. 

** a. Gesell and H. Tbompeoo, op, p. 255, 

“ K. Lewin, '‘Environmeotal forces,*’ in C, \£ttrohiMQ (od,), A Handbook at GhM 
Ptycholog^, Worcester: aark University Press, 2Dd ed., 1988, p. 595, 



Biogenic Needs in tlie Life of the Individual 67 

medical practice current in his social setting), the usual run of 
things may be upset as the needs in question become more and 
more dominant. Mary Cover Jones reported that the most 
frequent crying episodes in a group of children from 16 months 
to 8 years of age occurred at the end of the morning ^hen they 
were tired and hungry.^’ That these episodes were related to the 
needs in question is shown by the fact that when the 
and rest schedules were adjusted to meet these needs, ''the 
total amount of crying was considerably lessened. “ 

Of course, as a baby grows older, motives other than the 
biogenic ones come into the picture. Then it may be possible for 
a short time to distract him from the immediate satisfaction of 
a biogenic need. Lewin conclude that this comes about only as 
tiie result of a certain development and the child’s acquisition 
of values from the social world around him. After o^erving 
that the objects of value (positive or negative “valences”) in 
the infant’s environment “depend essentially upon his otm 
needs and their momentaiy condition/’ Lewin points out that 
the possibility of influencing older children by "psychological 
means” is disproportionately greater. He concludes tliat “the 
possibility of direct influence is correlated with the increasing 
psychological reality for the child of social facts, especially the 
powers of others.” “ This important fact— the ocquisition of 
sociogenic motives in the course of the child’s dev^opment — 
will be our concern in Chapters 11 and 12i 
Piaget and his associates studied extensively the language 
and reasoning, conception of the world oround them, judgment, 
and socialized behavior of children from the early years until 
preadolescence. The some general trend in psyohoIogiDol de~ . 
velopmentis visible in all these aspects. Thus, in the early 'years 
of childhood, the "pleasui'e principle” dominates all phases of 
the child’s psychology as regulated chiefly by the urges and 
temporal shifts of biogenic needs (autism). Hence the whims 
and mercurial changes in direction manifested, at times, almost 
from moment to moment. Let us illustro^tethis general trend by 
one specific phase of development studied by Piaget and his 
associates. The summary of their research on longu^e and 

M.G.J’onc9,'*EmotioiulDevQlopment/'iB<M>»p.S8a . , . 

« K. Lowin, op. otV., p. 018. ' , 



58 An Outline of Social Psychology 

teoaoniiLg brings together tendencies found in different 01*003 of 
nhi lH study and gives a more comprehensive picture of the 
motivation of the developing child and of his mentality as re- 
vealed in language behavior.^ Piaget observed that the infant’s 
behavior is governed chiefly by the organic needs. At this stage 
of development "reality may be said to be simply and solely 
what is desired" (p, 246). The world is fashioned in accordance 
with the "pleasure principle, ** to use Preud’s teim, The infant’s 
behavior may therefore be characterized as "autistic,” and 
"autism knows of no adaptation to reality, because pleasure is 
its only spring of action" (p. 244). There is a corresponding 
"absence of social needs" (p. 213). 

As the child meets obstacles, rewards, and differences in his 
environment, he must begin to adapt to the world of persons and 
objects as it exists. But even thou^ he is forced to ^is adapta- 
tion and strives to moke it, he is as yet unable to act on the basis 
of any point of view other than ^at of his own satisfactions. 
He does not yet diffeientiate between his wishes and desires and 
the external woi'ld. Since an understanding of reciprocity with 
othei* pei'sons as well as with one’s own desims is necessary for 
socialized b^avior, the child posses through a stage in which 
his behavior, though revealing play and other desires not aimed 
at "organic or *ludistic’" satisfaction, is still autistic in form 
("egocentric" stage) (p. 205); . . in a word, he is conscious 

of nothing but his own subjectivity" (p. 249). Consequently, 
even though he may begin to perceive social realities and re- 
lationships as they exist,' he cannot yet function as a socialized 
being (with all the various desires for I'ecognition and status, 
etc., which accompany a grasp of the hierarchical arrangements 
of reciprocal action) . 

In this section we have had to restrict ourselves to these 
representative conclusions to draw attention to the fact that 
the behavior of the infant consists chiefly of i-eactions motivated 
by biogenic needs. Hence, it follows that the first objects, per- 
sons, and situations that ore of fJo/ws to tlie child are tliose which 
are related to the satisfaction of these needs. In the course of 
his development he acquires other values, either built up on 

« J. Ploget, Judgmnt and Rwoning in Ihf Child, London: Kegon Paul. Iteich. 
Trubner, 1SS8, pp. 109-256. 



Biogenic Needs in the Life of the Individual fi9 

these first values or foimed through contact with the pi'evailing 
practices, values, or norma of hia social setting. These latter 
values, incorporated in him tlirough contact with persons, 
situations, groups, and institutions around him, constitute the 
basis of his sociogenic matwes, The psychology of the formation 
of tliese motives and their effect on his behavior and experience 
will be our concern in Part II, especially Chapters 11 and IS. 

For purposes of clarification, just one concrete comparison 
of the values directly linked to the satisfaction of biogenic needs 
and the acquired values or preferences as determined by social 
contacts will suffice at present. In several interesting studies, 
Davis reported tlie results of the self>8election of food by newly 
weaned babies and older children in hospital wards.^^ The chil- 
dren were provided at each meal with a fairly large selection of 
food and were allowed to choose and eat whatever they pleased, 
without any suggestions from grownups. To adults in almost 
any society, at least some of tlie resulting choices would be 
somewhat ataiiJing. Thus, salt was token only occasionally. 
The cliildren seldom mixed their foods — ^for example, putting 
milk on cei'eul'-but preferred to eat them pure, On occasion* 
they would eat a meal consisting entirely of one food. (One 
cliild SH old ate ten eggs at one meal.) Although the 
children occasionally indulged in large amounts of the same 
food for several successive days, no disgust or signs of overeat- 
ing followed such sprees. And special foods were not demanded 
or rojected to an extent injurious to health. ! 

These findings are in contrast to the food tastes of moat chil- 
dren in the United States today after a certain age. Further- 
more, os is well known, some children develop definite likes and 
dislikes for certain foods which makes their eating something 
of a problem. When McCartliy compoi'ed the eating, habi^ of a 
group of children from 2 to 7^ yoars of age with those of their 
parents, she found tliat many of the children’s food likes and 
dislikes wei*e shared by other members of the family; For ex- 
ample, 47 per cent of the food dislikes of the.children who were 

■A Soe the following by C. h£. Dsvii: Self-seloctbn of diets: an experiment with 
infenUii IVoined Ntirsa and Ho9p. Ase.. 1831. BO,' 6; Self4riectlon cf diet by ttewly 
weaned infanta, Amer. J. Pumraea rf CkUdrtn, 10^, 80, 651-'O70; A praotlcal applica- 
tbn of some lessons of the self*ndeotioQ diet study to the feeding Of ohlldren in ho^tals, 
Amer.J.Dia.Ohiliinn,im,AQ,74A-7eQ. 



60 An Outline of Social Psychology 

classed as problems’* in relation to food were found in other 
members of the family.*^ Such studies as these well illustrate 
the established fact of the influence of social contacts on the 
satisfaction of biogenic needs. And hei'e we see one instance of 
how more or less luting attitudes are built up. 


Effects of Motivation as Bevealed by the Experimental Ap- 
ptoacli. 


Until very recently the experimental study of the effects of 
motives was carried on almost exclusively on animals. Prom 
tiiese studies we have learned a gi‘eat deal conceiiiing the effbcts 
of motives on learning, disci'imlnation, problem- 8 olvmg‘pi*oces> 
aes> motivational reinforcement, etc. Fundamentally, these 
problems have much in common for animals of various species. 
Such studies have shown us the directive role of motivation on 
behavior and helped to accentuate the conception of the. or- 
ganismic (molar) character and puiposive nature of -the be- 
havior of organisms as naHtralisjHc phenomena.” (Foimerly, 
total and purposive manifestations of behavior were utilized 
as evidence of the philosophical doctrines of vitalism, en- 
telechy, etc.). Convenient surveys of experimental animal 
studies are presented in such works as those by Hilgord and 
Marquis ” and Stone.” With full awareness of the 'fact that 
results obtained on the animals of one spedes ore not always 
valid for the members of different species — especially for Homo 
sapiens, because of the almost staggering effects of social 
phenomena — we shall briefly summarize a few representative 
animal studies 08 a general orientation to our ownle^. We must 
also keep in mind the fact which has been experimentally 
demonstrated by investigators in the field of animal psychology, 
that even in infra^human organisms which have no culture, 
social situations and complications produce differoitial effects. 


a I>. McCartliy, Children’i feeding probloms in relation to tho food averaiona In tlie 
family* Dn^p., 188S, 0, >77-884. 

^ G. Tinman, fnrpoirfw fieftopior m Anfmola o»d Msn, New Yoric: Apploton- 
Gentury, 1038, and Mbtivatton, leanUng, and adiuatmeiit, Proo. Amer. Philo*. Bom. 
IMl, 84, 548-003. 

** E. R. HUgard and D. G. Mnrquu, Conditioning and learning, New York: Apnlo- 
toD'Century, 1040, 


** C. P. Stone, '*Motivatioa,” in F. A. Mou (od.), 
York: PrMiUeoBaH, rev. ed., 1043, pp, 85-87. 


Conpondive PtgiAologg, New 



Biogenic Needs in iJKe Life of the Individual 01 

In the preceding chapter we noted that , one important fea- 
ture of most experiments on animal learning involves the dep- 
rivation of some basic need for a definite pei'iod of time before 
the animal is introduced to the experimental situation. It is an 
accepted fact in animal psydiology that when on animal is thus 
deprived, acts leading to the attainment of on appropriate goal 
object or reward ore reinforced and ore therefore more likely to 
occur when the animal ia again placed in the situation.^^ Thus, 
when on animal is hungi'y, the presentation of food ** reinforces” 
the acts which precede the getting of food, etc. 

After reviewing the expa^iments on animal learning, Me- 
Geoch concluded: ** Within limits not yet clearly defined, 
learning is a function of tlie strength of motives which are oper- 
ating. For example, Ligon's study showed that the rata 

which had been deprived of food for the longest period of time 
performed best in the maze, whei'eas those who were fed just 
before entering the maze gave the poorest performance.*^ Within 
limits, the amount of conditioned salivation varies with the 
length of the period of food deprivation.** The major importance 
of the strength of drive os a factor in the learning process is 
brought out even more strikingly in a study .by Tohnan, 
Honzik, and Bobiiison, which showed that hunqry rats leam 
better tlion less hungry rats (i.6., those deprived of food for a 
shorter' period) even when they are not given food as a reward.** 
Varying degrees of deprivation produce similar results upon the ' 
resistance of a learned response to extinction when it is no longer 
rewarded. In Snekett’s study, the rats who were deprived for 
the longest period (80 kours) conrinued more/re 9 uen% to pms 
a bar for food after if^efood reward was removed than the anWls 
deprived for a shorter period (6 hours).*® 

** Hilgnrd and D. G. Iduquli. op. oU., pp> 81-82. 

^ J. A. MoG«cKihi Tba Psyf^alow of Human L$aminff, Nev York: j^ongmaiu, ' 
Green, 1042, p. SOS. 

B. M. Ligon, A comparatiye etody of ooit^ mceotivea in the learning of the 
whito rat, Oomp, Ptyehal. Monogr., 18S0, 0, No. S. ' ^ 

6. Finch, Hunger u a detwaiuont of conditional and uico^tional ullvary 
reepoiua magnitude, Am$r. J, PApWol., UdS, 123, 878-882. 

** B. C.lbliiinn.C.H. Honxlk, ends. W.Robinaon, The effect of degraei of hunger < 
upon the order of elimination of long and ebort blinde, 'Ifnto. Calif, ,FuU. PitloAoi., 
1980, 4, 180-S02. . ^ ‘ , 

**' n. 8. Sockett, The effeot of strength of drire at the time of estbo^on upon 
cosiatance to extinction in rata, / . Comp, Ptp^i r 1989, 27, 411-481, 



ea An Outline of Social Psychology 

l^olman keenly observed that di^erences in the demand for 
various objects **are dependent not upon the character of the 
goal-object per se but rather upon their character with refei'ence 
to conitions of physiological drive.” The interrelated eflfect 
of the need for food and the consummatoiy act upon learning in 
animals is aptly illustrated in a study by Blodgett. In this ex- 
periment* the rats, even though, hungry, made comparatively 
little progress in learning when they did not receive food in the 
maze. When these some rats were rewarded with food, their 
performance improved markedly,** Similai'ly, if a food reward 
has been given to hungry rata but is removed dining the course 
of learning, the perfonjiance degenerates.** 

The learning process in animals has been shown to bo affected 
by the appropriateness of the reward (or goal object) to the 
organic need motivating the animal. V&ry ihirsty animals show 
a moiked improvement in maze performance when u>atef is given 
instead of only slightly moistened /ood. Conversely, learning in 
hungry rats decreases when water is given instead of food}* As 
Grindley demonstrated, the amouni of food given to hungry 
chickens affects the speed of learning. When the food was only 
shotm, they evidenced alight learning." Animal studies also 
indicate that certain preferred rewaids (e.g., bran mash) func- 
tion as more effective incentives to a deprived (hungry) animal 
^on certain less preferred rewards (e.g. sunflower seed)."® 

The studies of Warden and his associates reveal the relative 
persistence of goal seeking in different degrees of vaiious kinds 
of deprivation. The number of times a rat will withstand electrio 
shock to reach food, water, or a sex object was found to vary 
with the amount of deprivation. 'For example, the thirst drive 
was relatively most pei'sistent in rats after a day of deprivation. 

£. C. Tolmao, Purponti$ S^uuior in Aninalt and M$n, p. 08. 

" H. C. Blodgett, The effect of introdtiction of reword upon maze leoming of rata. 
Unit, Calif. Pvbl, Ptyokal., 1828, 4, 118-184. 

^ £. C. Tdman ond C. U. Hon^ IntroducUon ond removal of reword and 
pafonDoneo in rats, Unit. PnU. Paj/ehd., IPSO, 4, 287-S78, 

** M. H. Elliott, The effect of approprUteness of reward and of compIo^K Incentivea 
on mose pcrfarmance, Uni». CaHf. Publ, Ptyohol,, 19SP, 4, 01-98. 

0. C. Grindley, Experinienta on tlm influence of tho amount of reward on loarn- 
jsg in young chick^, Mi, J. P»ychtd„ 1020, SO, 178-180. 

* B. SitnmoDi, The rotative efiectivenesa of certain inconUves In onlmol leamino. 
Conp. PigeAoi. Monogr., 1924. 2, No. 7$ M. B. Elliott, op. oU. 



Biogenic Needs in the Life of the Individual GS 

From that time on, the animals* willingness to withstand the 
j^ock for a small amount of water decreased slowly until death.” 

The following obseivation by Richter, an outstanding in- 
vestigator of motivation, embodies the main features of the 
effects of deprivation on the behavior of an animal: 

In experiments on one animal [the rat] a liberal supply of building 
material, — sticks, rope, stones, and cloth, — ^wos placed in the large 
central cage. This animal bad habitually d^osited its feces in the 
water-cup. Usually the water was changed every day, but on one oc- 
casion, by some neglect, it was not changed for several days, so that 
the resulting odor became very unpleasant. At this point tlie anirnd 
started to cover the hole over the water-cup. It first removed part of 
the upper layer of the cardboard bottom of the large central cage, 
and dragged it into the water-box. It placed the cardbooid over ^e 
cup and smoothed it down on oU sides until the hole was p^feetly 
covered. Then from the bottom of the central cage it lift^ stones 
larger tliaii its head by three Inches into the drinking ca^ and placed 
them over the cardboard cover. Besides the large stones numerous 
pebbles and sticks were used until the water-box was completely 
blocked. The animal had cut off its only water supjdy by this per- 
formance. Since we wished to see what it would do when it became 
very thirsty, the material woe left undisturbed and no other water 
was given. After three days, the animal pushed all of the sticks and 
stones from the drinkmg cage into the large central cage, tore up the 
cardboard seal, and drank its fill of the pouted water.** 

One of the important aims of animal motivation studies is to 
^'measure the rdative strength*' of various needs in relation to 
each other in a conflict situation; i.e., an animal motivated by 
two different didves is placed in a situation in which it has to 
orient itself to one or the oth^ of two incentives (e.g.» food, sex 
ob jec t) .*® It will be factually dangerous to carry ov&r to the humari . 
level ike findings concerning ihe relative eirength qf different mo- 
^ea in animals wWtout firal taking seriously into account the 
intricate oomydioaHona of human ouUure. In this connection, the 

C. J. Worden, dntmaf ifogMlion,’ Etp^rimtiUal SiudUa on ih* AlHm Rat, New 
York: Goluinbia University Freis, 1081. 

** U. Uiobter, minimal behavior and intfirnal drives, Quort. Ttas. Btol., 108T,' S, 
841-84S. 

** See, for example, C. Tsfu, The relative atrenalli of sex and hunger motives in the 
albino rot, J, Corny. J*4yohol., 1086, e; 40T-416} C. P. Ston^ op. «t*i C, J, yTarden, 
op, oft. 



04 An Outline of Social Psychology 

condiision drovm by P. T. Young after a survey of the relevant 
experimental literature is pertinent: 

» . . There is no doubt that hunger behavior donunates thirst if the 
animal has been long deprived of food and only recently of wateri and 
that thirst dominates hunger under a reversal of conditions. Also the 
preferential order for foods varies witii the constituents of the animal’s 
^et. Similarly, exploratory behavior inhibits sexual aggression, eat- 
ing, fl T»d drinking, if rats ore placed in a novel environment. Many 
s uch examples can be found to show that i/te rtlaUve doTninomos cf be- 
havior ^Uems is largely dependent upon etroumetaneea. We 01*6 forced 
to condude that there ie no mmtdahls hierarohy of drives}^ 

As the above intimates, it may be much to the point here to 
keep in mind tlie periodic or cyclic appearance of the various 
drives. Different drives recur in full strength at shorter or longer 
time intervals and are also subject to some variation from in- 
dividual to individual. Por example, in the human adult, hunger 
and thirst ore aroused in more or less regular cycles yvhicli are 
of shorter duration then the sleep cydej and probably the need 
for sleep ordinarily recurs in shorter cycles than the sex drive, 
(See Chapter pages 40-48.) 

Aside from the necesaily for testing the applicability of facts 
conoeming motivation at the animal level to the human level 
where the emergenee of culture is a factor to be duly considered* 
we must be cautious about generalizing on the subhuman level 
without taking social or environmental factors into account. 
In studies of motivation even on animals, the introduction of 
social factors has been found to alter the results. Tima, Jenkins^ 
studying sex behavior, and Nissen, studying matei'nal be- 
havior,** found that the usual goal objects and responses of tlie 
white rat ^ere modified wlmn certain social influences were 
introduced. For example, mothei' rats will ordinai'ily with- 
stand relatively frequent electric shock in older to reach their 
young; but if sepoiuted from the litter for a few hours, they 
show a considei'ably decreased tendency to reach tlieir young. 

** P. T. Yowng, Motifiaion ef B^hmior, New YorkJ Wfley, 1980, p. IfiS (firit italics 
mine). 

M. Jenkins, “llie Effect of Segregation on the Sex Behavior of the WlUte list 
as M^ured by the Obstruction Method,” in C. J. Warden, op, mV., pp. 179-SOl. 

« H. W. NbiBcn, .**A Study of Maternal Bchav«w In the White Rat by of 
the Obatructkm Method,” in C, J. Warden, op, oii„ pp. S84-860. 



Biogenic Needs in the Life of the Individual 66 

Before vrc consider experiments on the motivation of human 
beings in the next chapter, Stone's caution in relation to the 
sex drive will be an appropriate conclusion for these brief illus- 
trations of tlie findings of studies on animal motivation. 

In closing, it seems appropriate to voice a word of caution against 
inoidinate avidity for utilisation of bdiavioral data on sex phenomena 
collected from the lower animals for the elucidation of human sexual 
problems, in Ulie absence of appropriate factual data on ike feaaibUUy of 
such applicaUone. The utmost reserve is justified, for even among the 
lower animals only rigidly controlled experiments suffice to bring out 
similarities and differences between the species. Vast intellectual and 
cultural differences between men and the lower animals must cer- 
tainly restrict rather than enlarge the range of applicability of be- 
havioral data.^ 

C. F. StonC) *'9ex Drive," in Edgar .Alien (nd.), Set and Intemal Seeretiene, 
BolUmorei WUliams and Wilkins, 1980, p. 1288. 



4 . 

The Siffects of Deprivation 

at the Human Level (Individual and Social) 


IN RNCBNT TBAB8, THU aXFBRlMSNTAL APFEtOACH 11A8 BBBN 

put to fortunate use in studying tlie effects of biogenic motives 
at the human level. In revie\nng the representative studies by- 
Sanford, Murphy and his students, and Bruner on the psycho- 
logical consequences of biogenic need deprivation on humon 
subjects, we shall find clear-cut evidence of the functionally 
unified organization and operation of motivational and cog- 
nitive (perceptual and symbolic) factors. When human beings 
undergo deprivation of the biogenic needs, even for the rela- 
tively short periods possible in the usual experiment, their 
psychological functions are rendered highly selective in the 
direction of the appropriate goal objects or situations. 

In the next section of this chapter we shall report some re- 
sults of an experiment on hiunan beings in prolonged semi- 
stoi'vation. This experiment gives o startling and clear-cut 
substantiation of observations hithei'to obtained only from 
everyday life situations. Then, bearing in mind the leads 
affoided by these experiments, we shall cite a few examples of 
deprivation in actual social life. 

The ieUctmhy of perception, remembeiing, and other 
“higher*' processes as determined by external stimuli and 
internal factors has been demonstrated by many experiments 
and observations from life. Of the studies showing the efiects 
of attitudes acquired during the individual’s development, 
that of Bai'tiett ^ is outstancfing. Studying first the way indi- 
viduals 'pemm their surroundings, Bartlett pointed out the 
effects of socially acquired attitudes upon peiceiving, ve- 

' y. C. Bartlett, RmtnA^ng: A Study in BxpirimMtal and Sooud PiyMvift 
Cambridge: Univer^ty Press. 19K, 



Deprivation at the Human Level 67 

membering, tmd Die studies to be reviewed here 

demonstrate such seleoiioUy as detei'iuined largely by the bio> 
genic needs. 

On the basis of the observation that abstinence from food 
leads to selective preoccupation and to thoughts and dreams of 
food} Sanford set out to test the hypothesis that the amount of 
imagining about food vanes with the length of deprivation. As 
the first step, he tested a group of school children shortly before 
and after their regular meals. At botli times, the daUdren were 
presented with words to which they were to respond with the 
first word that come to them, and pictures of incomplete situa- 
tions, such as a pointing fii^' or a baby reaching out with its 
hands, whicli they were asked to complete. He found that the 
children gave about twice as many food responses to the words 
and pictures before meals as they fhd after meals.* 

In a further study using college students as subjects, Sanford 
made interesting findings relevant to the cyclical nature of hunger 
as modified by social factors, and to certain social factors that 
affected the reaction of his subjects to deprivation.* He set out 
to compare the variation in preoccupation with food (1) after 
a S4-hour fast and (2) during the normal eating cycle. All tlie 
subjects were told that they were being tested for speed of 
response. After a few conventional speed tests, they were asked 
for word associations, intcipretation of incomplete pictures, 
chain associations, completion of drawings, and completion of . 
woids of which two letters were given. In the author^s words, 
the findings were as follows: 

** 1. Iffood responses increase with the time during the normal 
eating cycle and over a 24>hour period. 

'*2. Ovci* a 24-hour pei'iod, the inci'eese in food responses is 
not in direct ratio to the increase in time, the fasters’ average 
being only slightly greater than that of subjects examined near 
the close of the normal eating cycle” (p. 155). 

The latter point is particularly enlightening in view of the 
facts stated in Chaptei' 2 concerning the periodicity of hunger' 
08 modified by prevailing social schedules (i.e., a ‘^food habit”)^ 

* E. N. Sanford, The effecU ot obstioence from food iq»n iisu^nal ptocosmt a ' ' 

preliminAry experinuuit) •/. 1080, S, ISS-ISS. 

* E. K. ^nford, The offcota of Abatlnepce from, food upon iini|Siiial processes; a 
further experiment^, J. Psi/okol,t 1089, 8, 148-189, 



68 


An Outline of Social Psychology 

which -is important in regulating the selectivity of humans in 
relation to goal object (food). Whereas the “physical need 
for food “ was surely greater, on tie whole, for subjects deprived 
of food for &4t hours, the tot^ food responses for this group were 
only sligh^ greater than for subjects before one of their regular 
meals. This modified hunger <^cle or “food liabit” also accounts 
for the finding that subjects tested b^ore breakfast (a meal 
whitsh is often light or at times omitted, especially by college 
students), when fliey had not eaten for from 8 to 20 hours, made 
significantly fewar food i*eapoases than those tested near the 
latter half of their normal eating cycle to 6 hours after 
eating). 

The effects of social factors upon perceptual selectivity after 
deprivation are revealed in the finding that physical education 
students, whose program included vigorous exeicise, mode 
twice as many food responses as liberal arts students who were 
tested after an equivalent period of abstinence from food. Here 
the lilts oj study that involved greater energy output increased 
the pspahological effects of deprivation as well as the greater 
actual need for food. 

Before we leave Sanford’s study, it is worth noting that the 
reactions he observed in subjects who fssted for 24 hours re- 
vealed certain psychological dynamisms which at least some 
psychoanalysts lend, to present dromatically only in the cose of 
sexual deprivation. As Sanford’s illuSti-ations show, “frustra- 
tion m^hanisms” t^d to accompany the deprivation of any 
biogeruc need. The following conversation between tlie experi- 
menter and a subject shows one of the devices used to avoid 
preoccupation with food. 


B. Wdl, how did it go? 

S. ^was kind of tough — thanks to my roommate, 

E. What do you meoa? 

S. WeU. it se^d that just about the time I gat ihoughU of food pirf 
o«« of my mind my roommate would say, “How would you like to 
have a nice, big, juiqy steak?" (P. 168; italics mine.) 

Mother ^ample of reaction to deprivation is seen in the sub- 
ject vfho forgot that he was supposed to be abstaining from food : 
i missed my supper, as I was supposed to do, and was driving 



Deprivation at die Human Level 69 

home from a date when 1 thought, ‘Gosh, Pm hungry.' I parked 
the car and went into a drugstore to get a sandwich, and then 
the thought struck me, ‘Oh goDy, I'm supposed to be fasting*’* 
(p. 158). Psychoanalytic literature is full of cases of forgetting 
and other slips associated with prolonged semial deprivation. 

An excellent illusti*ation of research in which cognitive and 
motivational factors are conceived of as functionally inter- 
related psycliological processes is Levine, Chein, and Murpl^’s 



Fio. 7. The effect o! food deprivation on percepUoa. 

These ore the average scores of all experimental subjects. The total scores 
give the average of all food respoTUCs m^e. ' Weighted scores were computed 
by assigning different values to items referring to. meat, fruits or vegetables, 
and eating utouslls. (From K. lievine, 1. Chein. and G. Muridiy, in J. 
Pnfohdu 1048, 13, p. SOI.) 

experiment, ' 'The relation of int^ity of a need to the amount of 
perceptual distortion.” * These experimenters took perception 
as the prototype of "higher processes”, with which to stu^ the 
"tendency of cognitive processes to move in the direction of 
drive-satisfaction” (owfisTa) (p. 2S8). College studmts wertj 
asked to inteipret pictui*es, some of which were black and white 
and some of which were colomd. Both groups of pietui'es in- 
eluded meaningless drawings, ambiguous drawings of fodd 
articles, and drawings of various household articles. Each sub- 

* R, Lcvlno, I. Cbflln, and G, Hurpliy. The relatipn of the intenrity of * ne^ to the 
amount of perceptual distortion, J< Ptytholn 1342, 18i SSS-SSS. 


70 An Outline of Social Psychology 


ject was tested once a week at various periods of time after 
eating (1» 3, 6> 9 hours). Pig. 7 shows the results. As tliis figure 
shows, the number of food responses tended to increase with 
the lengtii of deprivation up to a cei’tain point, after whidti 
there was a ali^t decrease in number. It should be noted that 
this decrease occurred earlier (at S hours) with the colored than 
with the black and white pictures. The authors interpret these 
findings as indicating that two processes operated simultaneously 
during deprivation. An "autistic process*^ resulted in an in- 
creasing perception of food as the period of deprivation increased, 
and a "I'eality process** resulted in an increasing neoessiiy of 
finding some means io satisfy the 7ieed. The fact that tlie food 
responses with the colored pictures (which were more ambiguous 
for the subjects then the blade and white) decreased sooner 
than those with the black and white pictures indicates the 
presence of on action-impelling tendency os well as the simul- 
taneous operation of the ‘‘autistic** and “reality** processes. 
In addition* it was found that the number of rejections* i.e., no 
meaningful associations with the pictures, increased progres- 
sively with the length of deprivation. The authors* summary 
realistically formulates these results; 

“The growing need produces the autistic process, but at the 
same time makes it more impei’ative to find some means to 
aftt\afy the need, i,e,, \t stimulates the reality proeess. Even the 
less ambiguous figmes (those which are more easily and con- 
sistently seen as food) do not satisfy the need. . . . We should 
eiqject that as he becomes hungrier, he may ultimately stop 
lootog at pictures altogether, particularly where all he hos to 
do is to leave the expeiiment** (p, 292). 

In a further study, Schafei* and Murphy » investigated “the 
role of au^m in the determination of the figure-ground re- 
lationship. * For this purpose, reversible contour lines were 
designed which could be seen as one or the other of two profiles 
(Fig. 8). For the training series of the expei’iment, these proves 
were separated so that there were four profiles, each bounded 
by as^jcirde (Fig, 9), These profiles were presented in random 
order. The subjects were given a nonsense syllable for each pro- 





Fia. 8. The two atinulU preaeuted in. the poat>tramitig aeriea* (From R» 
Schafer fuid G. Murphy, in /. PgyahcL, 1948, 89, p. 887.) 









7a An Outline of Social Psycliology 

file which they were required to learn to associate with the 
appropriate face. Tliey were told that when they saw either of 
two of the four faces they would be rewarded, but when they 
saw the other two they would be punished. The two faces for 
which the reward was given were determined by the experi- 
menters and always included one profile from each of the 
drawings in Fig. 8. Since in sucli a study it would be exti*emely 
difficult to reward some hiogeuie need directly, the exp^i- 
menters chose money as a reward because it ^'has been in- 
grained by conditioning as a means of fulfilling a wide vai’iety of 
needs” (p. SSfi). After this training period, the subjects wei-e 
shofwn the contour lines when placed together as in Fig. 8. No re- 
wards were given, the subjects being asked merely to write down 
the names of the profile they saw. In this series the subjects 
tended to perceive in the contour lines the profile for which 
they had previously been rewarded; the profile for which they 
had been punished tended to become the background for the 
other pro^e. A** significantly hi^ number** of perceptions after 
training occurred in connection with the profiles which canied a 
rowaid. Hence, “autism can function in the determination of the 
figore-grouad relationship in o visual field** (p, 34S). 

Another study by Proshansky and Murphy ® has a direct and 
important bearing on the role of motivation in the leoi'ning and 
organization of cognitive processes, which we considered briefly 
in the preceding chapter in connection with the effects of biogenic 
needs upon a child*8 psychology. At the outset, the ex;[)eri- 
menters state: “It is the hypothesis of the present paper that 
we Uam to perceiee in much the same way that we leatn io aot . . . . 
It is our ^esis that perception develops by virtue of its ca- 
pacity to mediate adjustments, to serve needs ...” (p. $95), 
To test this hypothesis, they designed on experiment in whidi 
the subjects were rewarded (again with money) for certain 
perceptions and punished for others. In the pretraining period, 
the subjects were placed in a semi-dark room and asked to 
estimate the length of lines and to judge the heaviness of various 
weights. Some of the lines were “long** (5 to 7 inches), some 
“short** ($ to 4 inches), and some intermediate. The weights 

• H. Fro^nslqr and G, Murpb?, The efleeta of reward and puniahment on por- 
ception, J, PtyohtA,, 1049, IS, 805-SOS. 



Deprivation at the Human Level 73 

varied similarly. During the training period^ the subjects again 
made their judgments, being re^ai*ded with fifteen cents for 
each long line and each heavy weight. For the short lines awfl 
light weights, they had to forfeit fifteen cents. Kewarda and 
punishments were given for the intermediate lines and weights 
on a ** planned haphazard ** schedule. In the final testing period, 
the subjects judged the intermediate lines and weights (without 
lewoi'd or punishment). These judgments were then compared 
to the initial judgments of the intermediate lines in the pretrain- 
ing period. Whei'eos the judgments of control subjects, who were 
not rewarded and punished, showed no change, the judgments 
of the subjects who were rewarded increased Hgnificantly in the 
dife(^n of greater length and might. Thus, the reward resulted 
in selectiveness of pei'ception in the direction of {he reroard. 

A neat substantiation of this study was given by Haggai^d and 
Hose,^ who showed the eflfects of reword upon perception, using 
the autokinetic phenomenon (see pages 162-16S). The subjects 
were instructed to judge the direction and distance in which a 
light moved (actucdly it did not move at all). They wei'e told 
that only part of tiro trials would count. In half of the trials in 
which a subject responded that the light moved to the left^ he 
waa rewarded with five cents. Even with the relatively few 
wards, a majority of the subjects saw movement more often to 
the left than to the right. The average distance which the li^t 
seemed to move to the left was longer than the average distance 
to the right. And all the subjects were more confident of tluii 
judgments of movement to the left than to the right 

Mother particularly clear-cut experiment showing how 
motivational factors enter into the organization and functioning 
of pereeptual processes was recently carried out by Brun^ and > 
Goodman.^ These authors also urge the necessity of conceiv- 
ing of pereeption and other cognitive processes as functions in 
which both external and intei^ (e.g., motives) factors enter 
in a functionally interrelated way. Criticizing those who would 
put perception in a separate cognitive department of p^chol- 

’ £• A. Hoggnrd and G. J. Some sfTeota of mental 'active parUcIpa^ 
turn in the conditioniiig of the auix^etia plienomenoo, 3, £v|Mr.'PiyoM.tlMi M, . 
45-^0. , , 

* J. 8. Bruner and C. C.‘ Goodonm, Value and need se organielng feoters In per- 
ception, 3. Ahn. A 8oo. Pj^oAoI., 1047,.4% SB-44. 



74 An Outline of Social Psychology 

ogy, they emphasize the necessity for studying “the vai'iations 
perception itself undergoes when one is hungry* in love, in pain, 
or solving a problem** (p. 33), For this purpose, tliey designed 



Fio« 10. Size estimation of coins made by well-to-do and poor ten-year-olds. 
(From J. S. Bniner and C, C> Goodman, in J> Abn, & 8oo, 1047, 

4S.P.40.) 


an experiment to test “the tendency for sought-after percep- 
tual objects to become more vivid** (p. 37), The subjects were 
10-year-old school children. One group came from a school at- 



Deprivation at the Human Level 7d 

tended by the ckildreiL of proaperoua business and professional 
people, and another came from a settlement house in the Boston 
slums* There was also a conti'ol group. The children were asked 
to estimate tlie sizes of coins from a penny up to a half dollar by 
turning a Icnob that I'egulated the size of a patch of light on a 
screen. The control subjects estimated the size of gray card- 
board disks which were the same size as the coins. The ladings 
show that the coins (which, as has been suggested, have come 
to stand for the satisfaction of many needs) were consistently 
judged by these subjects as larger than were gray disks of the 
some size. Of particular interest hei‘e is the comparison of the 
judgments of rich and poor (hildren* In the authors* words, 
*'poor children have a greater subjective need for money than 
rich ones" (p. 89). These results, which ore shown in Tig. 10, 
clearly indicate that poor children, with the gi'eater need, over- 
estimated the size of coins considerably more than rich chil- 
dren. This overestimation by the poor children tended to be 
relatively greatei* os the value of the coins increased. 

These few experiments on the effects of a relatively brief 
deprivation of biogenic needs at the human level ore valuable 
as leads in handling the observation of deprivation in everyday 
life. They have the advantage of the control of variables that is 
possible in the experimental situation, but at the same time 
they are restricted because of the impracticability of prolonged 
experimental deprivation in most Instanfies. In the next section 
we shall consider human behavior under prolonged deprivation, 
in the light of tested findings from animal and human ex- 
periments. 

Effects of Prolonged Deprlratioxi 

The consequences of prolonged derivation due to famine* 
economic depression, foreign occupation, or chaotic sodo- 
economic situations are well known. The psychology of pro- 
longed deprivation will be the concern of Chapter 1 6. '■ 

But no systematic atep-by-atep U*eatment of sudi deprjyo-, 
tion is available as yet. For this reason, the one experimeutal 
study of prolonged semi-starvation carried put at tlie University 
of Minnesota by £eys, Brozek,Henschel, Mickelsen, and Taylor 



76 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

on conscientious objectors during World War II constitutes a 
milestone in the scientifically controlled investigation of pro* 
longed deprivation,® This admirably controlled study of pro- 
longed deprivation will certainly for decades constitute a mine 
of factS} with an abundance of direct implications for any 
formulation of motivation, value-drive relationship, and pei'- 
aonality in social psychology, as well as for physiology and 
practical dietary sch^ules. 

The subjects, all of whom wei*e volunteers from Civilian 
Public Service, came from different states in the Union. Orig- 
inally there wei*e 36 subjects, but for several reasons two wei’e 
dropped before the final stage of the study, and two others 
were eliminated from the statistical analysis. They were thor- 
oughly informed about the aim, procedures, rigors, and dangers 
involved in the prolonged expra^iment. Their ages ranged from 
SO to 88 years, and dieir initial weights from 185 to 187.7 
poundSi Ihey were all normal men in good physical health. 
lnintelligence*they were “considerably above average** (p. 11). 

After a three-month period of standardization (in physical 
and psychological respects), they were sjfstemaUfially auhjefsted 
to smi-siarvaHon for eia: months. Then they were rehabilitated. 
(Unfortunately we cannot devote any space hei'e to the equally 
interesting results of the period of rehabilitation). At the end of 
the six months of semi-starvation, they had lost about per 
cent of their normal weight. (See Pig. 11). Before we give the 
major findings relevant to our purposes, it is necessary to call 
attention to two facts which are useful in interpi'cting the 1 * 6 - 
sults. This will help us to be a little cautious in applying the 
conclusions drawn from this experiment to cases of deprivation 
under actual chaos, insecurity,^ danger, oppression, and starva- 
tion. As Guetzkow and Bowman, who collaborated in the 
periment, point out in their more psychological account of the 
investigation, “ the subjects “had complete security, in that 
they were under constant medical supervision and ]^ew they 
would be taken out of the experiment if anything serious went 

* A. Keya, Brozek. A. Heoachel, 0. Mickelasn, and H. L. Ttgrlor, Experimental 
Starsaiion in Jlfon, Laboratory of I’hyaiological Rygiene, tJnlToraity of Minnesota, 
October 16, 1Q4S. 

H. S. Guetdeow and F. H. Bomnan, Men tirld Bmger, a P^<Megio<d Manual 
jbr Workent Bl^D,r HI.: Bretbm Fiibltshing House, 1040. 



Deprivation at the Human Level 77 

wrong. ” They were not e^osed to pei'secution or enemy attack. 
“Tliey had the safety and security of the average American 
civilian in the continental United States ” (p. 1^), The subjects 
were motivated rather highly by the belief that ^ey were serv- 
ing humanity by the conclusions that might be drawn from the 
expei'imenti which was conducted wliile tlxe war against fascism 



Pig. 11. Average Loss of Weight During 0 Months of Semi-Starvetion. 

Average Weights, 34 men. Fredkted (broken line) and actual (solid line) , 
body weights are sliown os bi-weekly moons for the entire group of 34 men. 
The actual food intolces, as calories, aro also shown. Food intake in thousands' ' 
of calories. (From Sfarpoiim in Man, by Keys, Broseki 

Henschel. Mickelsen. and Taylor. Used by courtesy of Dr. A. Soys, Director 
of the Laboratoiy of Physiological Hygiene, University' of Miime&ota.)' 

was being waged by their country. This motive is revealed by 
the fact that some of them showed concern over whether they, 
would be able to' undei'gb the- rigors of deprivation' and that 
fairly strong feelings of remorse were shown by those who broke ' 
down under the voluntary starvation. In the words of one of the 
experimenters: 



78 An Outline of Social Psychology 

The S6 conscientious objectors finally selected for the starvation 
experiment felt themselves privileged, for they alone of the approjd- 
matriy 170 original applicants had survived the screening given by 

the Laboratory. i • j . 

They felt a sense of responsibility to the men who were deprived of 
this opportunity. If they did not come through with flying colors, it 
would be thought that they should not have come. There were many 
others, as well qualified os they, denied the privilege. Hence, tliey were 
representing these men, too, and could certwnly not let them down. 

But perhaps even more important, especially as the AP wires be- 
gan carrying stories of their experiment over tlie nation, and friends 
and brothers in army camps abroad began sending th^ copies of the 
articles which now were receiving world-wide circulation, they had to 
come through in order to prove that consoteniwua objecton were noi 
slociters— that they could withstand physical distress as readily as 
their fellow countrymen in uniform.^ 

Unfortunately, in reporting the relevant results, we have to 
restrict ourselves to a minimum; the findings have fai'-reaching 
significance especially for social psychology. The following 
broad description given by the investigators is, perhaps, the beat 
general statement of the effects: 

Ae HanfxHon pragreeaed they became more and more ailenit apaifieiic 
and immobile- Movemenia were ehw and restrioted; etaire ioere mounted 
one at a time and tke men eai or stood leaning againgi a wall while waiting. 
In ditensrioiv there was no evidenca of confusion of thought or diffi- 
culty of expression but the attitude was frequently irritable and 
morose. Trivial inridents were productive of exaggerated annoyance 
and complaint. Favorite topics cf converaolxon were food, farming and 
rural life, a fact which waa bitlerly resented by some of the men. 

All of the men continually complained of feeling cold, and'd^p in 
the warm weather of July most of them wore heavy clothes. T^con* 
elusion was clear that any lack of heat in the building would have 
produced bitter suffering. Another frequent complaint was ihe sensation 
cf bring "oW.” 

A number of mm were bothered by vivid ireamSi partMularly dreams 
cf breaking fbs diri, vnlh attendant great remorse.^'^ 

The deprivation did not affect oil the subjects identically, 
of course. There wove individual differences in the effects pro- 

o F^sonul comiDunication from Harold Guctikov of Uie University of blichignn. 
>* "Kesi, Btosek, el at., af. eit., pp. S5, 96 (all ibtllcB mhte). 



Deprivation at the Human Level 70 

duced. These dijfferenoes, which are important in ikeformulaHon 
of the psf/ohology of personality t almdi be vHlmd mthfull imght 
given to the more general fact that the broad trend of the effeoU took 
the same direction, “The normal range of differences between 
individuals was greatly widened during semi<starvation. With- 
out exception, however, each man experienced some of the 
b^avior 2>atterns and reactions which are described.”** One of 
the moat revealing facts regarding the differential thi'esholds 
of the learned value system of Ihe individual under conditions 
of stress was^kb^vn by the following: 

A lew of the men were unable to remain voluntarily on the re- 
stricted diet throughout its entirety. Some of the violations were of a 
minor nature and did not jeopardise the experimental conclusioDs; 
in those few cases where major deviations occurred the subject was 
excluded from the experiment, or the data obtained were discarded. 
This deterioration of their ethied (»utrol was all the more remarkable 
because these men hod shown tliemselves to be sincere and upiight 
throughout the two or more years of work they had performed in 
dvilian public service units before coming to the laboratory. . . . The 
semi'Storvation pressure of hunger was, however, too much — their 
very beings revolted against the restriction. One of the individu^, 
not only bought food, but also stole some from "locked” Storemoms. 
Anotlier individual sublimated his food cravings by stealing china 
cups from coffee shops. Although fasting is said at times to quicken 
one ^ifitually, none of the men reported significant progress in tkcir 
religious lives. Moat of them felt^that the semi-starvation had coars- 
ened rather than refined them, and they marveled at how thin their 
moral and social veneers seemed to be (pp. Sl-8i). 

Updei' ordinary, conditions of civilised life, biogenic motives 
become dominant (over most motives) with the recuirence of 
tile need cycle as regulated by tlie social milieu, within certain 
limits of variation. Now the individual attends to hiuigei*, now 
to thirst, and now to«jleqi or sex. These needs having been, 
satisfied, at least to a minimum degree, he stoivea for other 
higher and more refined ends— status, better position, science^ 
ai't, etc. ”In stoi'vation thig pleasant balancing process is upset,, 
and the hunger drive gradually dominates more and more of the- 
person’s activities and thoughts. Concomitant with this is a 

^ H. S. Guetskow and F. H. Bowidboj op. efti, P>^ ^ 



80 An Outlme of Social Psychology 

lessening of other drives, such as diminution of sexual urges” 
(p. 33), Developing this point, Guetaskow and Bowman state: 

Contrariwise, their sexual urge gradually decreosedi and it was the 
rare individual who continued courtship at the end of the starvation. 
Budding romances collapsedi and some men wondered how they could 
have been so interested in that ^1. One fellow*s girl friend visited him 
from a distant city during the low days of starvation} and slie found 
his ostensible affection disappoiniingly shallow. His I'eservoiv of 
offectional responses was drying up. . . . Dancing was not fun — ^he 
would rather go to a movie. The men seldom fatigued in a lieolthy 
way; they felt old, stuporous (p. 34). 



f!zo. IS. A starving man's thoughts and fantasies center on food. CCrom 
H. S. Guetzkow and F. H. Boipman, Ksn and Hungert Brethren Fuhlishing 

House, 1946.) 

Even though intellectual capacities were not impaired, it 
seems, the psychological world of these subjects became more 
and more focused on food. Again in the interesting words of the 
authors of Men and Hunger: 

The intensive preoccupation with food made it difficult for the men 
to concentrate upon the tasks they had intellectual!^ decided they 
would work on. If a man tried to study, he soon found hiTn ofl lf day- 
dreaming about food. He would think about foods he had eaten in the 
past; he would muse about opportunities he had missed to eat a cer- 
tain food when he was at this or that place. Often he would daydream 


Deprivation at the Human Level 81 

by the hour about the next meal, which was not very far away; 
“Today we’ll have menu No. 1. Gee, that’s the smallest menu, it 
seems. How sliall I fix the potatoes? If 1 use xny spoon to eat 
I’ll be able to add more water. Should I make different varieties of 
beverages tonight? Haven't had my toast yet today. Maybe I should 
save some for a midnight snack with my buddy, ^hat kind of a 
sandwich could I make? Maybe Td better write these ideas down, so 
I don’t forget them. H I eat a little faster the food would stay warm 
longer'-ond 1 like it warm. But then it’s gone so quickly . . . 
(pp. 32, 41). 

Food and topics connected with food acquired almost a sacred 
halo. Some of these grown-up men did not mind licking their 
plates in the presence of others to avoid waste, to the disgust of 
certain othei's who deliberately tried to drop the eveiTasting 
discussion of food topics. 

As to emotional effects; “The most important eanotional 
change coincides witli this motivational apathy; namely, that 
there was a dulling of the emotional response of the individual 
witli concomitant depression. Humor was gone. The men did 
not sing or whistle of their o^ accoid. Music did not bring its 
former woimth. The dejection was exhibited in the lack of con- 
versation at mealtimes. The men had not talked themselves out^ 
but lacked the spark tliat fires curiosity” (p. 2fi), Yet they 
tended to be more irritable on oidinarily insignificant provoca- 
tion. “Petty defects became very important and were the source 
of much initation. Standing in line at the diet kitchen before 
being served was the source of explosive conduct, Indecisiveness 
on the part of the servers would give rise to he> and to suspicion 
that perhaps the cooks did not know what their ration ^ould' 
really be. The men *blew up* at each other on occasion^ Monne^ 
isms which foimei'ly wont unnoticed now became soUrc^' of 
friction” (p. 27). 

And for the topic most central for somal psychology ; , 

One of tlie more profound changes which took place was the de^ 
creased soMjUiiy of the men. There were important exceptions to 
this, but even the men who managed to continue their social contacts 
often felt animosity toward strangers, merely because, they .were 
strangers. The men ImU up a tremendous inrffreup f^el^ (kai iend^d, 
to exolvde M Huir nonrsiarving frimdt and jfui cdminiakraHioe qnd 



8^ An Outline of Social Psychology 

ieohnie(U staff. They were apart from others — those who had been 
well fed. They were especially alienated by the individual who sup- 
posed he knew what it was like to be hungry because he had gone 
without food for a couple of days. It was hard to sit near one’s com- 
rade who had esctra food. They became provoked at the laboratory 
staff for giving "too much** food to some* and thought it criminal to 
restrict the rations of others, even ihough they clearly understood the 
experimental plan demanded such adjustments in rations (p. SO;italics 
mine). . . . Often they realized they were not gentlemen in the gallant 
way they formerly had been, and they did not core. What difference 
did it make if they were unshaven and sloppily dressed? They would 
prefer to go to the movies alone, while formerly a ’’show’* was not 
real entertainment unless a companion could share the fun. Humor 
often eases the tensions which arise in normal social situations, but 
these starving men lacked humor — they could not pull quips; they 
could not make light of things (p. 81). 

Some of the items which the men jotted down in their diaries 
at different stages of semi-starvation further reflect the fore- 
going results. We quote only a few: 

The time between meals has now become a burden. This time is no 
longer thought of os on opportunity to get those things done which I 
have to do or want to do. Instead, it*s time to be borne, killed until 
the next meal, which never cornea fast enough (p. 10) , 

it wasn’t what the boys did with their food t^t I didn’t like but it 
was their method. They would coddle it like a baby or handle it ond 
look over it as they would some gold. They ployed with it like ki^ 
making mud pies (^. 80). 

This week of starvation found me completely tired practically 
every day. If they want to get any more work out of me, tliey’re going 
to have to feed me (p. SO). 

Stayed up until 5:00 a.m. last night studying cookbooks. So ab- 
sorbing I can’t stay away from them (p. 81). 

Eoideruse from Siriono Culture. The foregoing experimental 
results concerning the effects of prolonged semi-starvation, with 
all their ^sydiological and cultural consequences, are amply 
observed in actual life situations of hunger, as we shall see in 
the next section. £thnolopGal held work in societies in which 
securing food is a constant concern for all members will demon- 
^ate in a striking way the crucial deterraination of major 
individual and social v^ues and practices by hunger frustro- 



Deprivation at the Human Level 83 

tion. Recently Holmberg undertook a comprehensive field study 
with this consideration in mmd.^ Many investigators have 
recognized the effects of biogenic needs in determining the char- 
actei'istics and values of social groupings and the personality of 
their individual members. But no one had, as yet, dealt in a 
comprehensive way * Vith a society in which the drive of hunger 
is so constantly frustrated as to have become the dominant 
motivating force in shaping habit and custom. Siriono society 
seems clearly to be such a society** (p. S74). 

The food supply of the Siriono, though sufficient for survival, 
is persistently inadequate. The tropical climate is highly un- 
favorable for food preservation or storage. The Siriono must 
make arduous hunb for food almost daily, about a fourth of 
which are unsuccessful. They have only the most primitive 
weapons and few agricultural tools or sldlls. Domestication of 
anii^s is unknown. In short, the Siriono*8 waking hours are 
necessarily occupied with the exhausting and dangerous job of 
hunting and collecting enough food to subsist. 

The psychological Aects of this drarivatipn are for reaching. 
Here we can hardly do more tlion list some outstanding , ex- 
amples. Food and food-getting are the topics of the Siriono's 
major anxieties. When food is obtained, it is eaten without 
ritual, often furtively or at night so that it need.not be shared. 
Quan'els over food constitute the greatest single source of con- 
flict in the group. Almost no food preferences are shQ^^, a 
hawk being devoured as voraciously as a partridge. Food and 
euccessful hmling almost dominate the dreams and fantasy of the 
Siriono; “sex dreams and fantosies are rarely encountered** 
(p. 288). The only stealing observed was the taking of food on 
those infrequent occasions when some was , left unguarded. 
Pood is used as a lure for obtaining a partner in sexual o^vities; 
when it is scarce, there is little sexual Mtivityi Sexual orgies 
follow a successful hunt. 

The adult Siriono is characterized generally as aggressive, 
individualistic, and uncooperative. There is no evidence which 
indicates that such characteristics dev^op on the basis of 

u A. B. Bolmborgi The Siriono. A study of of hunger frustration on the 

culture of o Mmi-non^lc Boltviao Indian society. Dootorate dissertaUon on file in the 
library, Yole University, July, 1040. 



84 An Outline of Social Psychology 

experieuces in infancy or early ehildhood. The Siriono child is 
considerably indulged and J^ustrated little. He has an ample 
food supply until he is weaned at about three years. Only as he 
grows older and younger children come into the picture does 
he share adult hardships. “By the time a youth reaches the age 
of twelve he is already manifesting most of the signs of adult 
behavior toward food. In general he is aggressive in all matters ' 
that pertain to food” (p. 383). 

The scarcity of food and the almost constant pangs of hunger 
ore reflected in the social values and practices of Siriono culture. 
Status and prestige ore based <diiefly on hunting prowess and 
food-getting ability. The chief is always a good himter. The 
best hunter or food collector is the most desirable mate. The 
sick and the ageth not being able to obtain food, are liabilities 
and are treated as such. “Consequently, people who are ex- 
tremely ill or decrepit and whose period of usefulness is over, 
are abandoned to die” (p. 386). 

Since a man can seldom collect more food than is necessary 
for his family, the family is the functioning economic and social 
unit, the usefulness of the Siriono band being limited chiefly to 
serving os a source of sex and marital partners. Since the 
Siriono often, move in their search for hunting grounds, indi- 
vidual ownership of a garden plot, tree, etc., is recognised only 
when such artidcs are used. Pinally, the almost constant pre- 
occupation with food and the rigors of obtaining it has resulted 
in a sparse development of art forms, folk tales, or mythology. 
The magic extant relates chiefly to food. The Siriono*s concern 
merely to survive leaves no time for intellectual activity or for 
speculations on deities or an afterworld. 

The Effects of Deprivation In Social Life 

Pacts from everyday life conceraing the effects of prolonged 
deprivation of biogenic needs as observed by reporters and per- 
sons experiencing these effects highlight in a crucial way the 
tendencies indicated in experimental situations. For, after all, 
the generality of any finding, the validity of any theory in social 
psycholo^ must finally be tested on the basis of its adeqiiocy^ 
foi handling events of eveiyday life, when human beings coi’iy 



Deprivation at the Human Level 85 

on the business of living. We shaJI consider first relatively^ simple 
instances of the effects of deprivation, and then go on to see 
how, when deprivation is sufficiently prolonged and intense, it 
may result in almost completely transforming an individual’s 
usual ways of experiencing and behaving. 

Ernie Pyle, who shared the lot of American G. I.’s in combat 
in tlie North African campaign, I'eported an incident in which, 
because of the lack of variety in the battle rations, the appear- 
ance of a hog took on all the halo whicli these 6. l.’s might have 
associated with the sight of a beantihd gir\ in their ordinary 
conditions of life. In Pyle’s words: 

One day I was at a command post in a farmyard in a prosperous 
irrigated valley. The grounds were full of officers and soldiers who 
had just arrived. All of a sudden across the barnlot there came plod- 
ding a huge white hog. 

It was touching and funny to see the wave of desire that swept over 
the soldiers. Everybody looked longingly at that hog. Everybody 
had some crack to make. . . . 

A year before none of us would have looked twice at a hog. But then 
ike mere grunting passage a sivme across a &arn(o( 6rougjU a JUiod of 
eoveUma comment.^ 

G. I.’s who were fascist prisoners for any length of tiine knew 
even better the pangs of hunger. One ex-soldier, reporting Jus 
experiences os a German prisoner, emphasized with the fol- 
lowing anecdote the intensity with which preoccupation with 
food dominated the lives of the prisoners : 

When we were prisoners in Stolag Luft 111 in East Prussia, the 
food situation got bad dudng the wint^ of i94A. Ked Cross 
were keeping us alive, but they weren*t getting through regularly, and 
the Nazis were content to let us starve on a daily bowl of watery soup , 
and a bit of bread. . , , 

Food became our principal topic of conversation; we 'planned 
menus, compared favorite dishes and reminisced on' the last square 
meal we*d had, months, even y^s, before. Finally bur senior offleera 
and nb apTninfl decided that ^s constant thinking about food was 
UTirierinming morale, and a directive, went orouiid the compound that 
edibles were not to be talked about any more. 

» Ernie Pyle, Here h Your Wary New Yoric: The World Publishing Coi^any, 
1945: Henry Holt. 1948; pp. 118-114 (italics mine). 



86 An Outline of Social Psychology 

One doy ^hen Beveral of us were sitting firound shooting the breeze, 
a sergeant muttered, *'Boy, I wish I had a nice thick steak/* 

A major, who was passing, turned around and warned him, **Ho]d 
it, sergeant! No more talk about food, you know/' 

The sergeant looked glumly at the ground, and somebody q.uickly 
changed the subject, "Well ... I wonder what the new-mode] cars 
are going to be like?" 

So we talked about cars, about new designs, probable speed, mile- 
age, coat, and how soon we could get delivery after the war* 

After a long time the sergeant looked up at us. "I wish 1 had one 
of those new cars right now," lie said, "smothered in mashed potatoes 
and gravy/* 

Similar preoccupation with and actual dreams about food 
were reported by the men in Peeiy’s ejq>edition to tlie North 
Pole who were forced to live on the simplest diet, and by a group 
of fliers wrecked in the antarctic in the recent expedition to the 
south polar regions.^^ 

As a result of the accumulation of a body of ps}*’choanalytic 
literature, instances of intense preoccupation with goal objects 
and situations in the case of sexual deprivation are well known. 
As we have already observed, these preoccupations, distortions, 
and various frustration meclianisms come into play, in various 
degrees, whenever an individual is deprived of the satisfaction 
of any basic need (drive, instinct) for a significant period of 
time. In recent years, the clinical and experimental use of tlie 
Borschach (ink-blot) test has resulted in many examples of the 
perceptual distortions that occur when individuals suffer such 
deprivation. The results of this test may be taken as exemplify- 
ing the effects of various internal factors (e.g., motives, at- 
titudes) upon the pei'ception of an imstruotured or ambiguous 
stimulus situation (ink blots in this case). For example, in his 
report on Rorschach results with representative clinical cases, 
Beck includes the case of a 37-year-old man who, among othoi* 
things, ^'showed no interest in girls.” In eight of the ten ink- 
blot pictures in the test, this man reported seeing the pelvis 

^ E. E. Ivy, Tha Sccgeaia Changed the Subject, SiUtirday Evening Post, Fobrufliy 
15, 1B47. p. OS. 

H Reported in F. T. Young, Molivaiien aj Rntavior, New York: Wiley, lOSO. 

0. McCar^, ‘'Dead'* Men^s Diaiy, Seiurdov Evening Poet^ May Vf, lO-W, pp. 



Deprivation at the Human Level 87 

region. Of another figure. "After overt panicky behavior, in 
which he speaks only with gi-eatest difiSculty. he e:^resses ap- 
prehensions moi-e and more and finally ... [he says that it] 
‘ai'ouaes sexual fears because it is like the feet of a woman.**’ 
Here is an example of pei-ceptions dominated by the effects of 
s^ual deprivation. “The focus of these strong fedings is ob- 
viously the sex hunger. ’* “ 

In nwuy European countries today, the pictui'e is so grim that 
those involved cannot make light of even the results of their 
deprivation. A recent poll of Geiman working girls revealed 
that they were haunted by dreams and nightmares of hunger.® 
When aiced, "Do you really want to be loved by someone?’* 
these girls replied witli such answers as “I have no time,** 
"I’m too busy with my job and my hunger." “Today is no 
time for love.’* Under the gi-im pongs of hunger, the relative 
importance of other motives, such as sex, tends to fade. 

In the stringently rationed prisonei*-of-wai“ comps of World 
War H. the mcsn experienced and obseived many inafunfwn of 
tlie selectimty of various functions (perception, ^crimination, 
memory, etc,), as well as the breakdown of acquired atti- 
tudes which, in large port, reprcsent the sociogenic motives. 
In describing his years of captivity undei' the Japanese, General 
Jonathan Wainwi'ight recorded facts which give us, among 
other things, further insight into the psychology of motivation.^ 
In the prison camps at Taiiac and Karcnko, a group of high 
Allied officers underwent prolonged stoi'vation. The men.began 
to be ‘‘haunted by hunger** and food "became a mania** with 
them. They " wolre up each morning with hunger* pwamount in 
[their] ininda” and "went to sleep to dream of food*!, (p*'200). 
Under such intense -and prolonged depiivation, the range of 
stimuli which served as goal objects widened far beyond tlie 
usual range os modified by cultural influences. After a long.pe- 
riod in which they had no animal protein, the officers greedily ate 
animal stomachs, intestines, and lungs. They searched the 
ground for "large tough” snails which, although dreadful to 

S. J. Beck, Roneha^'i Tutt Vd. II, A Varitln Piehim, "Nm Yorl^ 

Grune and Stratton, 1040, pp. S39. S4l ' . ’ 

■ Reported in Nmumek, Jauuoiy SO, 1047, p. 97. ' 

^ General J. M. Wamvrigbt, Q^nerol Wainwighti Simg, E. Ceandina 
New Yorks Garden PubliaUng Co.. 1046; Donl^doy, 1045. 



88 An Outliue of Social Psychology 

the taste, were *Volfed’* down by those lucky enough to find 
them. And, looking for “the tiniest nutiution,’* they ate worms 
and blade weevils along with thdr meager rice portions (p. SOI). 

In these desperate circumstances, “We took to counting tlie 
two or three beans which sometimes appeared in the bottom of 
our SOU]) pail, and if a man received a bean in hia soup, and an- 
oOier did nd, it made jot hard feeling. This must be hard to im- 
agine, but it is true” (p, 187; italics mine). So the officei’s asked 
one man to divide the food as impartially as possible; but he 
quit the job shortly because they all insisted on standing over 
lum to watch. ** Major General Moore . . . acaeptedt hut with the 
reaervolion ih,ai he could attend to the aptUting of the rice and the 
soup behind a closed doof , . . ” (p. 188). Here we see the intense 
factor of hunger coming into conflict with the structural prop- 
erties of the group (see Chapters 6 and 6). 

AVith such a diet, the officers* elimination systems became 
upset. Frequently in the night they plodded to the latrine, even 
though they knew that this was the guaid*s favorite spot for 
beating them (p. 200). 

When the Japanese kept Red Cross parcels from these men, 
“the frustration was more numbing than any beating we had 
evei' taken” (p. 206), On one occasion the guards gove them a 
starved cow which broke away os it was being unloaded. Fi-anti- 
colly the prisoners chased after it as it ran out of the prison 
camp, and brought it back; “and in their gnawing hunger 
some of the men did not oven know they had been out of 
bounds” (p. 163). Here, hunger loomed to obliterate even the 
much-longed-for freedom. 

The fortitude with which these men stood on their dignity 
^ Allied officers in captivity, in accordance with the Geneva 
Convention, and refused to work for the Japanese soon brolce 
down when they were promised a small extra portion of “work 
rice’* (p. 100). 

In areas of starvation and miseiy in the world today, many 
coses of actual psychological preoccupation and ultimate dis- 
integration have been observed. It is authentically reported 
that during the fascist occupation of Gi-eece 14- or 16-year-old 
Greek girls yielded themselves to the hated enemy soldiei's 
merely to secure a little bread for themselves and theii* families. 



Depnvation at the Human Level 89 

In Italy and elsewhei'e, mothers and sisters went to the extent 
of sending little boys or girls to solicit the sexually deprived 
men who had food, as one means of just obtaining some food. 

In a recent account of coni^tions in post-war Vienna, a 
physician in charge of <^\ldren*B clinica has produced equ^ly 
grim evidence concerning the breakdown or disintegration of 
socially acquired values and norms under prolong^ hunger : 

Tlie hunger . . • is worse than the cold. You can do something 
about tlie cold. You con find something else to put over the shoulders 
or wrap around the feet. Or, you can go to bed and stay there. You 
can wait the cold out, for there is a beginning and an end to cold, but 
there is no end to hunger. 

And being hungry you do ihinffs you thouffjd you nfiver would do. 
You send your chil(hen out to trade on the black market. It would go 
hard on you if you got caught, but with the children, if they get 
‘‘picked up,“ the authorities will be more lenient. 

You leom, too, not to ask your children too many questions when 
they bring food home. You don’t ask anybody quesdons about where 
food comes from. You eat it, and while you oie doing so you hope rto 
ona will come tn ioiOi whom ii ought to he shared. Adversity does aot 
bring out the best in people, not when it is a question of who shall 
live and who dioll starve (p. I). . . . When you're hungry ybu'U eat 
anything — and people do. They eat what is Gme to be eateut though 
ordinarily it would turn their etomaahe. And they drink what's to be 
drunk; they do not have pasteurized milk and tliey do not have re- 
frigerators nor do they always have the means to boh watei*. 

Deatli takes whole families— sometimes there is no one left to 
notify. Death also leaves many orjdimis. The younger ones are cared 
for in institutions. The older ones look ofter tliemseiyes^ and “juvenile 
delinquency” in their case is a way of saying boys and girls , ore 
hungry. They take ns they can; they oppose with violence the peasant 
or anyone else who tries to stop them. The girls have their own way^ 
of getting along. Young as they are they come to terms early^ as hunyry 
people everywhere come to terms. Even their own mothers must some- 
times come to terms. ' 

Of course, one is ashamed when the authorities 'come because one's 
children are running the streets at ni^t, and onjs cannot tell the ' 
authorities about the soldier who comes to call while the children sxe 
out. But the solid' brings food and what is better? That one's chil- 
dren go hungry? The neighbors know; the authorities knoW; and 
someday one’s own husband, now a prisoner of war, will ^ve to 



00 An Outline of Social Psychology 

know. Who is to say who is a good mother and who is not, in times 
like these? (p. S) “ 

As a foreign observer in the hunger-ridden Volga region in 
1031, Anna Louise Strong saw hundreds of cases of such bi’ealc- 
downs under the grip of starvation, ® Once, as she was riding 
in a train that was taking food to the stricken population, she 
heard a baby crying. “Its mother had laid it on our car-steps at 
one of our halts, crying: ^Take it. Otherwise I must leave it in 
the market-place. I have no food; without the baby I may fight 
my way to regions of bread*" (p. 105). 

And os she herself lay in a hospital convalescing from an 
illness, “I saw in the ne.Yt room a young woman doctor, who 
was convalescing from typhus, go crazy at the news her 
mother brought. They had sold household treasures and bought 
one hundred pounds of fiour and ten of sugars but robbers had 
broken into the house and stolen the fiour. The doctor went into 
hysteria; she rose and rushed out to seek the fiour, tliough she 
had as yet no strength for walking. This was the meaning of 
bread even to doctoi'S on government rations*' (p. 131). 

We shall reserve for a later chapter (Chapter 16) any con- 
sideration of the effects of prolonged deprivation on a moss 
basis and its profound consequences on the whole structure of 
social organization. XJnfortunatriy, these grim facts have not 
succeeded as yet in making their way to the rank of major 
problems for social psychologists, even though politicians seem 
to have learned their implications more realistically. Hei'ein 
lies a fertile field for social psychologists, as their recent serious 
concern indicates. Aside b:om its realiatic consequences, the 
facts concerning prolonged mass deprivation can give us a more 
adequate social psychology of motivation, 

*1 A. W»werka, Wlut 1% U tike to Stafve. A Doctor IUIb the Story, Our Nation’a 
Ckilirm, 1017, Federal Security Agency, Social Security Admlnlatration, V» S. 
Children'a Bureau, Woehingtou, D. C. (Uaiics mine). 

* A. L. Strong, I Changa WoHd», Gordon City Fublieblog Co., New York, 1097« 



PART TWO 


Groups and Norms ( Values) 





Introduction 


A. FISW PAZiAGllAPSS WUih asnTB AS A OBNBfiAlt OBIBNTATCON 
to the payehology of groups and norms which will be the con- 
cern of Part II of this boci. Nowhere in the world today do we 
see man securing a means of livelihood by himself. Pursuit of 
the satisfaction of even basic needs is carried on in groupSi 
small or large. Nowhere do single individuals secure the neces- 
sities of life to the point of any degree of self-sufficiency. Even 
in the most primitive social organizations, the individual is 
dependent on others to some degree* and others are dependent 
on him to a lesser degree. If a state of natui'e ever existed in 
time immemoriali in which every person was self-sufficient in 
an appreciable degi’ee and was a law unto himself* we ai^ not 
in a position now to ascertain it Like the great majority of 
other animals, man is dependent on a member of the opposite 
sex for mating. To a far greater extent than any other animal* 
even subhuman primates, he is utterly helpless at bu'th, and 
his helplessness is far more prolonged. The mother has to take 
care of him longer than does the mother of any other animal. 
Equipped with the potentiality of grasping redprocar relation- 
ships and of retaining these relationships longer, because of. the 
relatively much greater size of his frontal lobes* he cannot help . 
building up more or less lasting psychological effects (attach- 
ments) in the coui'se of tending to or being tend^^ and the 
mutual sharing of sex and other activities. . ’ 

In carrying on the activities necessary for making a living, i 
which take place on the basis of give-and-talce and, hence, iuter- 
octing relationships, tools of production and symbols of com* 
munication ore standardized and accumulated, and some . 
routine of work and rest is established peculiar to the locality and 
social unit. In the process of gi'oup interaction in pursuing the- , 



94 An Outline of Social Psychology 

necessities that satisfy vital needs, there emerge more or leas 
lasting relative roles for the individual membei'S, stondai'ds of 
action, rules regulating reciprocal relationships, values, or 
norms in matters which become of growing concern for the group. 
In short, in interacting to secure value objects and situations 
(like food and shelter), new values emei'ge. Hiese new values, 
when standardized, come to regulate the very needs whose 
promptings were originally responsible for the actions which 
resulted in the emergence of these rules, values, or norms. 
WiUi new developments and diffei’entiatlons in the organiza- 
tion of the interacting group, new values arise which may not 
have anything to do directly with the satisfaction of vital needs. 
Tlie accumulating and standardising routines of action, tools, 
and techniques, the symbols of communication, and these new 
values, in turn, come to regulate the individual's behavior and 
to set standai'ds of work and attainment, and also new ospii'a- 
tiona and goals to follow. 

In short, during the course of the efforts of men and women 
wlio ore interacting in group units (small or large) in the most 
urgent pursuit of perpetuating their life, a whole mpmtfucture 
o£ routine, of hierarchical and hoiizontal roles and statuses, of 
values or norms, anses and becomes more or less standardized. 
Hence, there exists a host of folkways, mores, rules and regula- 
tions, and social values. Once such a superstructure of stand- 
ards, rules, and values (we shall refer to it collectively as norTnr) 
is established, it comes (through social pressure or through 
attitudes of confonning behavior) to regulate activities directed 
toward the satisfaction of vital needs. But this is not all. The 
superstructure comes to shape the individual’s tastes to an im- 
portant degree, his major tastes — concerning objects and situa- 
tions with which he is in contact in his daily life, ego4rwolved 
aspirations to be attained in the way of behngingnesst statust 
and a higher status; it provides him with values which result in 
the f omation of more or less lasting altitudes concerning his own 
group {idenlijicati/ins^ loyalties, responsibilities) as wdl as posi- 
tive and negative attitudes in rdstion to other groups {jrrejudice ) . 
The values of ike supersimsturet which appear first on the sivmiltis 
side in relation to a netohorn infant^ oonstUide ifie sourm of his 
sodogenio motises which he picks up during his development; His 



Introduction 95 

^'picking up’’ of such values, v^ich results in his more or less 
lasting attitudes* constitutes the central trend of his aoeiaHga” 
tlorii Of course the “picking up** of such values is not a me** 
dianical, hnphasai'd process; it is canned on through contact, 
by sdective perceiving and learning (“fixation,” “canaliza- 
tion, ” etc.). Its psychology is the central theme of the process 
of socialization. And precisely this, with its subsequent efiectd 
on individual behavior and experience; is the main concern of the 
chapters that follow. 

To be sure, perhaps no one individual, no matter how im- 
portant, how intelligent, how brood his intei'ests may be, rep- 
resents all the values and conformities characteristic of his 
general cultui'e, especially in the highly differentiated and 
developed societies of the present time. An individual’s range 
of socialization is limited by the range of his receptivity (his 
perceptual range) as deteimined by his actual contact with 
persona, objects, and situations. As we shall see later, starting 
with the family group or nui’sery group, his major volues or 
attitudes are derived chiefly from his actual mmbsfshvp groups 
(play group, adolescent clique or gong, school, church, foetoiy, 
union, club, etc.) or his fftference groups (groups to which psy- 
chologically he refers himself or aspires to refer himself — e.g., 
school, college, social close, dub to which he relates oi aspires 
to idate himself). 

Psychologically, membership groups or rejerence groups express 
more realistically tlie social settings which con be concretely 
handled as actual stimulus situations. Thearefore we con dis- 
pense with such vague terms as “subculture” that are used by 
some ethnologists who are concerned with the process of social- ^ 
ization and with the pei'sonality of the individual members of a 
culture and who psy^ologize on that basis. 

Consequently, with the differentiation of interdependent 
social iinits on the basis of organization and function in sOcietyi , 
there will be differentiated sets of values in eocli imiti For ex- 
ample, capitalist values and aspirations (hence mentality and , 
morality) differ from working-class values and aspirations. So 
with diffei'entiated values, expectations, and imposition's 
standardized according to sex, and to age (child, youth, adult) ; 
the I'esulting attitudes and sociogenic motives in each cose will f 



06 An Outline of Social Psychology 

differ to fit the prevailing social image. No matter what the 
specific superstructure of norms may be and no matter how 
much it m^ vary from culture to culture, the same social 
psychological principles should be valid — ^if these principles 
have any claims to scientific generality. 

Until recently, social psy^ologies were written and experi- 
ments were carried out in image of the prevailing norms of 
the culture or of the prevailing academic trend of the times 
which lacked perspective and principles that could be applied 
to other cultures. Under the impact of the comparative data of 
sociology (ethnology included), the swing during the past two 
decades has been in the opposite direction. As a consequence, it 
has been almost assumed that, because of the unique properties 
of certain cultures, the psychology of each culture can be ac- 
counted for in terms of principles unique to itself. Of course such 
a view is utterly untenable and is disappearing. 

Further di^culty in studying the social psychology of groups 
and norms ai-ises from the fact that there ai'e not even relatively 
static cultures in the world today. Almost all cultures are 
undergoing transition at a greater or lesser tempo as the result 
of technological developments. World War 11, and the impact of 
the new social order of the Soviet Union on one-sixtli of the 
world. It is no. coincidence that problems, of culture change, 
“acculturation,** have come to the foregi’ound in tlie social 
sciences. Scientifically valid social psychological principles 
should be valid in the case of individuals in rapidly changing 
societies as well as in the relatively static ones on which ethnolo- 
gists have spent a disproportionatdy long time collecting data. 

All kinds of social stimuli — ^includiog the mother and other 
grown-ups, the superstructure of norms of the individual's 
society, etc.^ — are first on the stimulus side in rdation to this or 
that par^ular child. In the course of his contacts, he faces, and 
mokes Aw own, certain already established social routines, the 
norms regulating intwpersonal and intergroup rriationships, 
and other values of his groups. He and his generation do not 
ordinarily create them anew. The origin of such standardized 
social products (language, religious and other values, family, 
etc,) is still a controversial problem. But on all grounds it is 
safe to assume that they have not dropped out of a clear sky, ■ 



Introduction 97 

but ai'e products of group interactions. Therefore^ the formula- 
tion of the psychology of group interaction, the emergence of 
new qualities peculiar to the group in group situations in gen- 
ei’al, the rise and standardization of group norms in particular, 
and tlie subsequent effects of tliese norms on the experience and 
behavior of the individual members will give us in a nutshell 
the basic principles involved. In the chapters to follow we shall 
present them in brief outline, with some crucial illustrative 
material. Relatively small experimental groups and actual 
groups with various degrees of structm’e usimlly embody in 
themselves the essential eaimarks of any grou]> in any culture. 
A carefully planned experimental group, a clique or gong, more 
or less sti’uctured group formations in combat situations, rela- 
tively isolated groups in pi*iaoner-of-war camps and concentra- 
tion camps, a college conamunity, a prison community, yield 
themselves as prototypes for the foraudation of the essential 
principles involve<I in any group situation. Accordingly, our 
first t^ will be a brief account of group situations. The main 
points reached in the study of groups will prepare us to handle 
more adequately the problems of aiHtude, personal and group 
identificadona (ego-inoolsammts), adolescent cliques, and prej- 
udice. We say more adequately, because if the interrelatedness 
of these problems to group situations is not pointed out and 
tliey are treated os rather di^rete items, some of their most 
significant functional properties will remain obscured. 



Properties of Group Situations 
in General 


that OHOUP WTtJATIONfl PRODUOB DIOT-BBBNTUL BFI'BCTS ON 
tte behavior o£ participating individuaJs has appesj^d in the 
general and experimental ti'eatment of the subject for years. 
In the relatively early accounts, rather extreme group situa- 
tions, i.e.. crowd behavior, were a major concern. Dramatic 
desd-iptiona mixed with theorizing were advanced by authors 
like Le Bon ‘ and Ross.* On the other hand, in the early pei-iod 
of the experimental study of groups, the investigators were 
primarily coucemed with the rather discrete effects of gi'oup 
situations on various functions — association, attentioui affec^ 
tivB degree, work output, etc. The pioneering works of Moede 
and Allport, among others, are examples. A brief summai-y 
of a few of the results obtmned in some of AUport's ex- 
periments will give a concrete idea of the disconnected social 
“increments’* and "decrements'* appearing in group situations, 
i.e., the gain or loss in output of work resulting from the pres- 
ence of others.® One of the expraiments in the series involved an 
ossodatiou test, i.e,, putting down words "as rapidly as they 
came to mind.” The majori^ of the subjects in this experi- 
ment showed "an increase in speed and quantity of work under 
group inffuence.*’ 

In anotlier experiment the subjects judged, both alone and in 
groups, the degree of pleasantness or unpIeoBantness of odors 
ranging from the putrid to perfumes. In the group situations 
the extreme judgments of pleasantness or unpleasantuesa were 

1 G. Le Bod, Tk« Cmoi, a Siud^ of the Popular S£indt London: T. Fisliar Unwia, 
19H ed. 

> E. A. Boas, Sopial Pejfehologyt New Yoric: MocDiiUaa, 190S. 

* F. H. AUport, Sootd Bostonr Houghton MitBin, 1024, pp. 200-485. 


Properties of Group Situations 99 

avoided in general: '*Tlie unpleasant odors therefore were esti- 
mated as led8 unpleasant in the group than when judging alone; 
and the pleasant were estimate as leas pleasant in the group 
than in the solitaiy judgments.” This shows a leveling effect 
in the group situation. A simile leveling effect was obtained in 
the judgment of weights in the group situation. Allport de- 
scribes this effect os a ** basic human tendme^ to temper one^s 
opinions and conduct by deference to the opinion and conduct 
of others.** 

In the ’thirties, undei' the impact of sociological findings on 
groups and, especially, tlie expei'hnental worlc in psychology 
that definitely demonstrated the functional interrelatedness of 
ports in the whole, investigators took a more comprehensive 
approach. With this new approach, the problems were formu- 
lated so that it was possible to point out the implications which 
were closer to the experience and behavior of the individual in 
actual group situations and in his culture. Stress was now 
placed on the emerging qualities and products in group situa- 
tions. The sociologists* great objection to experimental work was 
that it consisted mainly of discrete laboratory artifacts which 
lacked the concrete and living character of the qualities emerg-. 
ing in actual social interaction. The study of structural propel’- . 
ties peculiar to the group, as opposed to the picking up of 
um’elated effects, became the central theme of group studies. 

In aU group situatrons new psynhologfcai effects peculiar to 
the group situation am produced in the pai'tidpatmg individr 
uals. They arise in all group situations, whether they be mo- 
mentary groups, such as a group discussing some controversial 
current problem, even though the participants might have bedi > 
strangers up to the time of the meeting, or whether they be. 
more or less lasting groups, such as a clique, a gang, a club, a 
church, a college community, ,a union, a military unit, or' jail 
community, or manufacturer's organization, etc. 

Relativdy small groups, especially those that are sponta^ 
neously formed, such as cliques and gangs, are excellent proto- '' 
types for the f emulation of the principles of group psychology. 
They embody the essential features of the rise of new qualities, 
group norms, which subsequently mnhifest themselves in the 
attitudes and behavior of the individual members. In the socio- 



100 An Outline of Social Psychology 

logical literature — in the works of Thrasher, Zorbaugh, Clifford 
Shaw, and Whyte, for example— we find neat cases of such 
group formations/ We shall give some concrete cases lat^ 
(see pages 123-134). 

Having in mind especially such groups, we find that certain 
characteristic features stand out. It will more than pay us if we 
look for the following features in studying any gi'oup : 

1, In bringing and holding group members togethei*, there is 
a motivational factor. This motivational factor may be either 
biogenic or sociogenic. It may be the securing of a means of 
livelihood (e.g., food, shelter, etc.) or other economic means. 
The gangs formed by economically deprived youngsters, busi- 
ness organizations, professional groups, labor unions, etc., ore 
examples. In some cases the motivational basis may be pri- 
mary sex, as in adolescent cliques or gangs, nudist colonies, or 
the various Bohemias of especially large cities. In other cases, 
particularly among people who are far above the subsistence 
level, the motivation may primarily be the gaining of distinc- 
tion. The types of sociogenic motives involved in the formation 
and functioning of groups vaiy, of course, from culture to cul- 
txire and from class to class. Therefore, an enumeration of them 
will be futile; they multiply with the development and differen- 
tiation of social organization. They may include such various 
and specific tastes os represented by Kotary clubs, vegetarian 
groups, Longfellow soci^es, or a society for the prevention of 
cruelty to cats. The motivational factor naturally will have a 
great deal to do in determining the kind and dircclion of the 
group's activities, the type of values or norms that will come 
forth, and consequently the kind of attitudes the individual 
members will develop. 

One further point should be stressed here. No mattei' what 
biogenic or sociogenic motive may be primarily effective in first 
bringing the group members together, a group, once formed, 
becomes instrumental in satisfying an important aspect of 

* See F. M. Tlirasher, The Gang, Clikago; Unlveraify of Chicftso Frasa, 1887: H. W* 
Zorbaugh, The Gold Coaet md the Slum, Chicago; University of Chioago Press, 1080| 
G. R. Shav, The Jaek-Roller, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1080; C. R, Sliev, 
The tfatural Bietorff qf a Delinquent Career, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 
1031; C. B. Shaw Braibere in Criw, Chicago: Univeraity of Chicago Praa, 109S; 

W. F. Whyte, Street Cariief Saoisfy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1048, * 



Properties of Group Situations 101 

human motivation. Whethei* or not it is formed initially to 
serve tliese endS} it gives n. feeling of helongingnesst a status and 
a hierarchy of statuses (positions) which in turn come to regu- 
late aspirations of distinction in the gi'oup. We shall say a few 
words more about this presently (see point 8) . 

%, In the process of interaction in group activities, whether 
momentary or lasting, all the psychological functions (percep- 
tion, discrimination, judgment, thinking, emotion, personality 
features, etc.) ore affected to a lesser or gi'eater degree, depend- 
ing on the properties of the group atmosphere.’’ These differ- 
ential effects represent not merely somethmg added or 
subtracted, but are qualitative. Differential effects leading to 
qualitative changes are not unique qualities of group situations; 
they are embedded In the basic psychology of the individual in 
any situation. But it is an undeniable fact that groups, es- 
pecially intense crowds and mass meetings, are particularly 
conducive to profound behavioral modifications. In experi- 
mental studies and observations of group behavior, this fact 
comes out almost invariably. Later in ^is chapter we shall 
briefly present the representative findings of liewin and his 
associates in this connection. 

3. If the group interaction is lasting to some degree, there is a 
tendency to the fmaaiion of a structure. The appeoi'ance of 
relative, interdependeint roles for .individual members in' a’ 
hierarchical order atrelative distances from aleadei’ is one of the . 
evidences of the formation of a structure. Such structuration' 

‘ seems to be general whether or notit is achieved through formal, 
previously ^opted rules. It follows that the leader lole is .de^ 
termined not by absolute traits and capacities, but by the de- 
mands of the situation at hand. In 6ne situation it may be 
physical power or bravery; in another it may be intelligent or 
some other special talent; in stOI 'another it may'be the family 
background or on already established prestige. As Tinker 
pointed out in his comprehensive study of gangs, the qualities or ; 
talents necessai'y for gaming leaden^'p and keeping it depend 
on the kind and direction of work that the group engages in. ^ 
After a comprehensive survey of the studies on leadership up to , 
I94i7, Je nkiria concluded as follows! "Leodei'iship is specific to 
the particular situation under investigation. Who becomes the 



102 An Outline of Social Psychology 

leader of a given group engaging in a particular activity and 
what leadeijhip characteristica are in a given case are a func- 
tion of the specific situation including the measuring instru- 
ments. Pelated to this conclusion is the general finding of wide 
variations in tlie characteristics d individuals who become lead- 
er's in similai* situations, and even greater divergence in leader- 
ship behavior in different situations.” ^ 

As Wliyte pointed out, certain expectoHona are reciprocally 
built up on the basis of relative positions. The higher up a mem- 
ber is in the hierardiy, die greater is the strength of the denuuid 
on Mm to live up to the expectations of other members. Other- 
wise he 18 likely to be dropped down in the hierarcliy of posi- 
tions.* 

The gi'oup structure generates differentiated *Hn~group” 
(“we” experience) and ** out-group** (“they” experience) at- 
titudes in the members. The usual group experience may be 
characterized as an experience of belongingness, solidoi'ity. and 
loyalty to the interests and noims of the group in spite of va- 
rious degrees of intra-group rivalries and friction. As Whyte 
pointed out* the structure of the in-group and out-group de- 
lineation need not be recognized by the group membei's, 
induding the leader, themselves. TMs is inferred from the 
differentiol reactions of the members to each otlier and to 
outsiders. If the individual members coi'ry rivalry, friction, 
and deviation beyond a certain degree (that degree may be 
different in different groups depending on the demands of 
loyally and discipline of the particular group), they will face 
various kinds of correctives, induding demotion, punisliment, 
and ostracism. 

Some of the most convincing illustrations of the fact that new 
in-group attitudes of solidarity, common in-group lingo, jokes, 
and feelings arise in newly formed groups ai'e reported by those 
in close contact with the daily life of army units. Just as in-group 
attitudes are fonned by the child in connection with his family, 
just as the closely knit sorority or fraternity group marks off 
its own group from others, so the army unit becomes the center 

■ W. 0. Jenkins, A review ef leadership studies with particular reference to mUitBir 
problems, Bull, 1047, 44, 75. 

• W. F. Wbyte, op. oU. 



108 


Properties of Group Situations 

and focus of the men’s expedience and activities. Through 
sliaring common experiences, hardsHps, and risha, the mem” 
bers of the vai'ious amy units develop, in time, feelings of in- 
group solidarity and unit pride. Brnie Pyle reflected tliis fact 
in the following words : 

“The hundred men in that camp were just like a dan. They 
had all been togetlicr a long time and they liod almost a family 
pride in what tliey wei'e doing and the machinery they were 
doing it with, . « . Private Wolfson, Sergeant Harrington, and 
Major Robb had one thing in common with every soldier in the 
army — ^they thought their division was the best extant. Since 
I was a man without a divisioxi, I just agreed with them all.” ^ 

Bill Mauldin also observed the in-group pattern, and vividly 
drew its products and their subsequent effects: 

While men in combat outfits kid each other around, fiiey hove o 
sort of family complex about It. No ouUidirt nay ;otn. Anybody who 
does a dangerous job in this war has bis own parUcular kind of kid- 
ding among his own friends, and sometimes it doesn't even sound like 
kidding. Bomber crews and paratroopers and Infantry squads are 
about the same in tliat respect If a stranger comes up’ to a group of 
them when tlicy are bulling, they ignore him. If he takes it upon him- 
self to laugh at sometlilng funoy they have said, tliey freeze their ex- 
pressions, turn slowly around, stare at him until Lis stature has 
shrunk to about four inches and he slinks away, and then they go 
back to their kidding again. 

It/s like a group of prosperous bushicBsmeQ telling a Tuqu6 joke 
and then glaring at the waiter who joins in the guffaws. Combat people' 
are an esoluaive aai, and if they want to be that way, it Is their priv- 
ilege, They certainly earn it. New men in outfits Ime to work thebe 
way in slowly, but tliey are eventually accepted. Sometimes they 
have to change some of tlieir ways of livingt An introvert or a reclase 
is not going to last long in combat without friends, so he learns io come. 
OHt of hia ahell. Once he has ''arrived” he is pretty proud of his clique, 
and he in turn is chilly toward outsiders. 

That's why, during some of the worst periods in Italy, many guys 
who had a diance to hang around a town for a few days after being 
discharged from a hospital where they had recovered from wounds, 
with nobody the wiser, didn't take advantage of it. They weren't 
eager to get back up and get in tlie war, by any meaps, and many^of 

7 Ernie Pyle, Sera la Tow TTar, New Yorki Tbo IVorld FobUshing Com- 
pany, 1046; Henry Holt, 1048, pp. 122, 288. ' 



104 An Outline of Social Psychology 

them did hang around a few days. But those who did hang nTouiid 
didn’t f06l escacdy right about it, and tliose who went right back did it 
for a very simple leason-^not becauBe they felt that their presence 
was going to make a lot of difference in the big scheme of the war, and 
not to uphold the tradiilons of the umpteenth regiment. Tliey weut 
back because they knew their companies were very shorthanded, and 
they were sure that if somebody else in their own squad or section 
were in their own shoes, and the situation were revised, those friends 
would come back to make the load lighter on 

In proportion to the degree of the hierarchical importance of 
the groups he belongs to in various capacities (for in highly 
diffei'entiated modern societies he may belong to several), the 
individual*s striving to keep his position and to raise it will vary. 
All more or less lasting groups have their peculiar structures, 
with relative positions from the leadership at the top down to 
the lowest member of the rank and file. Usually in social life, 
new members find the structure ready made as they enter the 
group, and they may strive to attain a higher and higher place 
in the hierawiy. But if a group of individuals gets together 
through some unusual circumstance, especially if there are dan- 
gers to be shared or vital ends to be secured, soon such hierar- 
chical structures develop sponianeouslp, as we have seen in the 
above examples and shall see latei*. 

'Whether the individual finds his place in an established group 
' (such as a family, church, social class) or participates in the 
formation of a group, he comes to experience a feeling of be- 
longingness. Subject to individual variations, he strives to 
maintain this feeling, and to hdd his place or a better one in 
the group. This, in brief, constitutes psychologically his status 
and vsrtical mobilUy — status and vertical mobility being so- 
ciological designations. When his belongingness or position is 
threatened, his veiy identity becomes disturbed or shaky. 
These strivings, as we noted earlier, are an. important port of 
the individud*s sotnogmiG motives. Since the problem of ac- 
counting for these strivings and for the insecurity which arises 
when group belongingness or status is thi*eatened cannot be 
considered adequately without more fully discussing established 

• From Up by BUI Mauldin. Copyright, IBM. by Henry Bolt and Com- 
pany,' Inc. (aU but but itaUa mine). 



Pi*operties of Group Situations 106 

facts concerning tke psychology of groups (Chapters 6-7) and 
the genetic development and functioning of the egoj we shall 
treat them in Inter ehaptei« (Chapters 11 and IS), Only then 
will our account of group psychology be rounded out. In antici- 
pation, we con state that the individual in any human grouping 
develops an ego which more or less reflects his social setting 
and which de^es in a major way the very anchort^ea of his 
identity in I'elation to other persons* groups, institutions, etc. 
As we shall see Jater, disruption of these anchorages, or their 
loss, implies psychologically the breakdown of ms identity. 
Sudi a disruption or loss of the individual's moorings is accom- 
panied by anxiety or insecurity. Consequently, struggles to 
establish some sort of new moorings occur, for anchoring one's 
ego securely in some setting is a psychological necessity (Chap- 
ter 11, pages £70-276). 

4. In a good many coses the individual forms his attitudes 
on the basis of the values and norms of the groups he joins. He 
becomes a good member to the extent to which he assimilates 
these norms, conforms to them, and serves the aims demanded 
by them. This Is the main source of his sociogenic motiyes>>In 
groups in which no previously standaidieed norms exist, noimB 
will arise in the course of the intei'action of the members (see ' 
Chapter 7), and, once established, will determine or alter the 
individual’s experience and behavior in rituations, group or 
indivlduali which coll on them to function. 

The place and functional meaning of the individual’s sbckl 
attitudes, belongingness (identification), and status osphations 
and etrivings become more real if they are related to grou^ 
from which they are derived. In other words, the individusi’s 
standards, attitudes, and status aspirations stem from and are 
related to certain groups. We shall refer to these groups as the 
individual’s.r^afsnca groups. In many cases his reference groups 
are groups of which he is. an actual member— 
groitps, But this is not always so. He may be actually a member 
of one group, but through his (X}ntact with the attitudes and 
aspirations of another he may do his best to relate himself, his 
standards, his aspirations to that group. For example, individu- 
als of the middle doss may try to regulate their standaids and 
aspirations in relation to leisure-closs values. Or through some 



106 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

circumstance, an individual may be living with a gi'oup of 
people who are not his group and to whom he does not relate 
himself. With such cases in mind, it is psychologically useful to 
have two different concepts — memhetihip groups and reference 
givups. Of course, usually one's reference groups and member- 
ship groups ore the same. The discrepancies between the two, 
he., cases in which individuals actually live in one group 
but aspire to belong to or are mode to relate themselves to 
onotlier, cause a number of conflicts and frictions whicli will 
be toudied upon later. The marginslity and out-of-context 
strivings of tactless social climbers ai*e illusti‘ations of the point. 

Crowd Situations^ Their Negative and Posltiro Effects and 
the Rise of New Norms 

Before presenting some of the crucial finding conceiving the 
validity of the foregoing generalizations, we shall briefly cliar- 
acterize the general properties of extreme cases of gi'oup inter- 
action and the rise of new norms on these occasions. Especially 
important for ua are the characteristics of interacting groups 
and crowds. A slogan or a short-cut formula may come forth at 
a group meeting and, even when the individual is no longer sur- 
rounded by the members of the group, may serVe as a guide 
whenever it is invoked. Here appears an approach to the pi'ob- 
lem of the formation of norms. It is, therefoi'e, worth our wliile 
to glance at some of the important properties of crowds. It is 
emphasized by sociologically inclined authors that the indi- 
vidual in a crowd situation is no longer his individual self; his 
individual experience is in the powerful grip of the occasion; 
his actions are his no more; he is simply a tool respouding to tho 
whims of the leader or the violence of the group. To revive tlie 
properties of the crowd situation in our minds, we may give one 
instance which, in his own words, “had on important share” 
in the education of George Bernard Shaw. He saw a crowd of 
people; it was a genuinely "popular movement” and it started 
with a "runaway cow,” 

The individual in an intense group situation acts as a member 
of the group; the group situation demands conformity. Whether 
the individual would like to conform or not (if he were to weigh 



Properties of Group Situations 107 

the different aspects of the situation and his own interests from 
many angles) » being a port of tlie situation imposes conformity 
on him. He is no longer **the kind of ipitn who would take this 
or that into consideration before acting.** If a participant does 
manage to oppose the group he usually succeeds in doing so by 
exerting a proportional effort. 

Some writei's on the subject have emphasized the intellectual 
inferiority of the crowd to the individuol when alone. They have 
also given pathetic pictures of the demoralizing effects of 
crowds, and have even recommended ^'prophylactics against 
the mob mind, ** Such admonitions are appropriate if we pick 
out only the un{oi*tunate cases and blind ourselves altogether 
to the elevating effects of ci'owds. It is true that there are in- 
stances in which the individual commits inhuman acts under 
the grip of a general outburst of mob fury. On the other hand, 
the group may produce the highest deeds of morality and self- 
sacrifice. A man whom we know to be stingy may surprise us by 
generous contributions in a group situation; heroism and stoic^ 
self-control are common experiences on the battlefield and in 
the great crises and revolutions of every era. In World H, 
nei^bors of mild-mannered, easygoing boys were surprisecl by 
their heroic deeds on the batU^elds. Qz^i&arily they might, 
have expected such heroic deeds only fiom those who exhibited^ 
bravery in civilian life. 

To give a concrete instance that can be easily verified,' we 
may refer to the Halifax disaster following an explosion in 1917 
— an intensive crisis that brought people into close psychological 
contact. At Halifax many individuals, as well as.whole families, 
refused assistance.that others might be relieved. Individual 
of the finest type were written ineffaceably upon the social 
memory of the inhabitants. There wss the child who used her, 
teeth to release the clothes which held her mother beneath a 
pile of debris; a wounded girl saved a loi'ge family of children, 
getting them nJl out of a falling and burning house; a telegraph 
operator at the cost of his life stuck to his key, sent a wonimg 
message over the line, and stopped an incoming train* ''The 
illustrations of mutual aid at Halifax would .fiU a volume. Not' 
only was it evidenced in the instances of families and friends, 
but also in the realm of business. Cafes served lunches wi^out 



108 An Outline of Social Psychology 

charge. Drug stores gave out freely of their supplies. Firms re- 
leased their clerks to swell the aimy of relief. ^ Similar acts 
of self-sacrifioe and heroism \^e reported among the residents 
of Texas City when explosions devastated a good part of the 
city in 1947. 

Thus the effect of the crowd situation on the individual is not 
always to reduce him to the state of a boast, setting him fi*ee to 
destroy. There are crowd orgies in which he may regress to the 
point of allowing the irresponsible domination of instinct. On 
the other hand, 3iere ore many cases in which important popu- 
lar movements in histoiy have achieved definite aims under the 
stress of disaster, or in opposition to the cruelty of the condi- 
tions of life imposed upon the people or the rigidity of the social 
norma governing their lives. 

A glance at Freud’s Group Psychology is pertinent in this 
connection. It will help to make dear the formation of social 
products os the result of the contact of individuals — ^products 
which are not found ready-made in the instinctive or uncon- 
scious repertory of the human ozganism. 

The crux of the position taken by Freud may be summamcd 
in a few sentences.^^ According to him, the main and, in fact, the 
only important effect the group situation brings about in the 
individual is to strip from him the superstructure of social 
norms, or conscience if the moral aspect is in question, and to 
give free rein to the satisfaction of the libido; and the only im- 
portant thing that finds expression is what is stored in the 
unconscious. This idea is expressed in unequivocal terms* 
“From our point of view we need not attribute so much im- 
portance to the appearimce of new characteristics. For us it 
would be enough to say that in a group the individual is brought 
under conditions which allow him to throw off the repressions 
of his unconscious instincts. The apparently new characteristics 
which he then displays ore in fact the manifestations of his 
unconscious, in which all that is evil in the human Tnind is con- 
tained os a predisposition. -We con find no difficulty in under- 

* S. H. Price, “Catnatrophe aod aocial chnsg&^bued upon a aociological study 
of tlio Halifax dteoator,*’ ia CtAuv^hia Vni^mUy StHiut tn Htrtory, Eemiomtoa and 
PuUm Imv, 1D20, 94, 86-S7. 

S. ^ud, Group Fayehdlots and tha Anaiyth of ike Ego, l.ondon: Intornationol 
Psycholof^cnl 1928. 



Properties of Group Situations 109 

standing the disappeai’ance of conscience or of a sense of 
responsibility in these circumstances” (pp, 9-10). Accoi-ding to 
Freud, the basic undercuii'cnt of all social action and organiza- 
tion is the sex impulse; he finds, “First, that a group is clearly 
held together by a power of some kind; and to what power could 
this fact be better ascribed than to Bros, who holds eveiything 
in the world?” (p. 40). This means that, according to Freud, 
the direction of action in a group situation, as well as the emo- 
tional quality attained, is stored in the unconscious and ready 
in advance. 

It is true that iliere are group situations conducive merely 
to strong sex manifestations, but the crowds that have a lasting 
effect are those that achieve a social end. In these cases not only 
ii. behavior not directed to the satisfaction of the libido, but the 
individual in the grip of a powerful movement at times cannot 
help aacrihcing himself. 

In some ci'owd situations, formulas or slogans arise or become 
standardized— acliieving the status of common property dear 
and sacred to every participant— which on later occeaions may 
move the individual to action or may even become thb food 
point in his life. Conaidei-the “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity*' 
of the French Uevolution; the American Revolution's “Life, 
Libei'ty, and the Pursuit -of Happiness”; the World Wa^ I 
phrase, “To Make tlie World Safe for Democracy”; and the 
“Four Freedoms ” of World War H. Once such a slogan reaches 
this status, it can be used and abused to move individuals to 
action; in Its name a great many things can be done. Symbols,' 
slogans, and values, when once standardized for.groups, are ho . 
longer mere teifles but may have great vitality as rigid- stereo- 
types. 

Once a group or crowd takes a definite direction gaihs 
considerable momentum, the leader who started it or who 
distinguished himself by some outstanding de^ may not escape 
ridicule and even puni^ment. Slogans have their' own history,' 
short or long, depending on the situation and their appropriate- 
ness in changing situations. The boos that MocDqnhld received - 
from his old comrades in the British elections in the 'thirties . 
afford a fitting instonce.The tragic fate of Fdtain,tlxe patrit^tidol- 
ized in World Wai* I, is another striking illustration of the point. 



110 An OuUine of Social Psychology 

The deuial of the special characteristics of the group situatiou 
and tlie psychological value of its special properties amounts 
to ignoring some well-established and basic facts of psychology. 
Cven the mere pi'esence of lines or dots near a line at which we 
are looking influences our pet^ption of it, sometimes consider- 
ably. A psychological gi‘oup situation lilcewise alters the in- 
dividual’s perception, and the group products that tlius come to 
be standardized are important realities. To be sure, the basic 
reality beneath all social and cultural realities is the individual 
organism; but, once the superab’ucture lises, new factors emerge 
on their own level. 

Thus Freud’s Group Psj/chohgp, which starts by breaking 
do^vn the artificial dualism between individual and social 
psychology, turns out to be an individualistic psycliology hosed 
on the Fros and the storehouse of the unconscious. This one- 
sided thesis ignores facts established in the psychology of per- 
ception, namely, the interdep 6 ?idenc 0 of individual parts, Freud 
proceeds as if the isolated individual could serve as a clue to tlie 
group. 

What happens in a group or crowd situation is not restricted 
to the breai^g down of the individuars moral and social norms, 
but involves the rise and the incorporation of new norms or 
slogans. Thvia, studying crowds or mobs only at the hour of 
turmoil and outburst, without going back to the causes tliat 
produce them and the effects that follow, again shows a lock of 
the perspective necesaoiy in the study of the problems of social 
psychology. 

The immediate circumstances that give rise to a crowd situa- 
tion may be important and vital. Such are the prolonged hunger 
and cold which may result in strikes and violence in great masses 
of people. Or the precipitating circumstances may be unim- 
portant and trivial in themselves—such as a quarrel ovei' a strip 
of bathing beach in the Chicago riots of 1919. Novertlieless, the 
basic psychological processes must ultimately be explainable 
by common psychological laws. Perhaps compoiutively simple 
crowd situations will enable us to approach neorei* the basic 
principles, because the causes and the manifestations, as well 
as the effects, may be traced more easily. 

A keen observation made by Charlie Chaplin in Vienna 



Properties of Group Situations HI 

analyzes the instantaneous organization of a crowd of short 
duration: "There is a psychology in the gathering of crowds. I 
can be walking along a thoroughfare with an occasional recog- 
nition. People just look and nudge one anothOTj then go on 

theirway. ButoccMionallyanexcitablewenchwillexcIaim, ‘Oh, 
look, there s Chai'lie Chaplin! * and the ci’owd immediately tAVog 
on her excitement and gathers round until I have to make for a 
taxi.”« 

This simple and clear-cut case, although it does not involve 
all the aspects of a typical mob gnthei'ing and ending in action, 
is important for us because it illustrates the following points: 
The sudden discovery of a celebrity (Charlie Chaplin is a per- 
sonality with prestige— a true celebrity to millions of people 
all over the world wherever there is cinema) is an event that 
stands out from the ordinary run of familiar happenings on the 
street— the movement of traffic and the passing of unknown 
pedestrians. The unexpected discoveiy of a person of note 
arouses some sort of emotion in most people. Yet what we may 
do or not do on the street is prescribed by certain norms — we 
are not supposed to look intently at a pei’son; we are not sup- 
posed to give overt expression on the sti'eet to every surprise dr 
sudden emotion, atti’acting to oui'selves the attention of eV^- 
one around us. Self-i’esp'ectiug people do not do so. Conse- 
quently, moat "people just look and nudge one another.” (We 
axe allowed to nudge a companion to call his or her att^tibn to 
something that has to be noticed.) But there are those, less 
firmly bound by social normi who easily give expression to 
excitement when they face a situation that is out of the or- 
dinary. The sudden appearance of Charlie Chaplin is one of 
these situations, and on excitable woman may easily break 
through the norms regulating behavior on the streets. Heivex- 
clamation, ”Oh, look, there’s Charlie Chaplin!’* aUracts at- 
tention. People stop to look, and those who would otherwise go 
on their way after nudging one another make a little crov^ 
around the person with prestige. The feeling of his importance 
is the (mmon element in their experience that gathers tkem into 
a momentary crowd, even though they do not know one another 

C. Chsplin, A Comedian the World. WomatCt Bomt CompaMon, Ootobex, 
1088.p. lOS. , ' 



lia An Outline of Social Psychology 

and will perhaps never even see one anothei* again. TJiis situa- 
tion does not involve a lasting conunon tie important enough 
to hold them together or to result in collective action or tlie 
expression of slogans. Yet the incident is sufficient to illusti'ate 
how a common background, a common frame of reference, may 
make possible the sudden pi'ecipitation of a crowd situation — 
when one individual breaks thi*ough the norm of decorum and 
I'estraint. 

Experimental Demonstration of Group Eifecta by T^win* 

and His Aasooiatea 

The fruitful results which may be obtained by the experi- 
mental study of group formation, group structure and products, 
and the subsequent effects on individual behavior are shown by 
a series of expei'iments on “social atmosphere” (c.g., “prop- 
erties of the social group”) by Lewin and his associates. In 
harmony with Lewin*s formulations of Gestalt psychology 
(i.e., “field-theoretical^ approach), a group is conceived of as a 
"dynamic whole” functioning with the “interdependence of 
the members (or better, of subparts of the group).” ” This 
“field-theovetical” approach made possible the study of ”the 
individual psychology of the group member and the collective 
behavior ol the group regarded as a dynamic unity.” “ The 
techniques used in the experiments were determined accord- 
ingly. Tor example, total heavier observations were made, 
rather than discrete “atomistic” records of each member’s 
behavior without reference to the total picture in which it took 
place. 

In the first experiment, Lippitt organized two clubs of 10- 
year>old children who engag^ in theatrical mask-making for 
a three-month period.^ The leader conducted one group in 
an authoritarian” manner and the other in accordance with 
“democratic” procedure. Tour observers made detailed ob- 
servations of the ongoing activity at each meeting. As the 

“ E. Iiewliii Field theory end experiment in eoclnl psychology: coqcepta aad 
methods^ Amw. J, Social,, IMS, 44, 66S-6B6> 

” R. Lippitt, Field theory and experiment In BochU psychology; autocratio and 
demoottUc group atmospberea, Amcr. J. SoeUA., lOSa 45, SB. 

^ 76id., pp. 20-49. 



Properties of Group Situations 118 

"authoritarian” leader, Lippitt was more “ascendant,” in- 
itiated more action for the group, was less “objective” in his 
dealings with the gi'oup members, than as ^Memocraiic ” leader. 
As a result of this differing leader behavior, 'Uie structure emerg- 
ing in the “democratic” group tended to include the adult 
le^er os a member of the group (i.e., he “was treated more 
nearly on equal by child members**), whereas the structure of 
the “authoritarian” group tended to center around the adult 
leader to whom the Ghildi*en mamtained a relationship of “sub- 



“ffia, IS. Comparison of behavior clsjsiiied aa dominating oscendaaca and 
as friendly, objective oseendonoe for members transferred from one group 
to another. (FVom E. Lippitt, in Amr. J. Sooid., 109D, 45, p. SO.) 


mission** (pp. S4-35), The differential effects of these tyro group 
structures on individual behavior are strikingly shown by a 
comparison of certain types or categories of b^avior of two 
members who were transferred from one group to the other. 
Pig. 18 shows how the amount of ^‘dominating ascendance’* 
and “friendly and objective ascendance** exliibited by Sue and 
Sarah changed when they shifted groups at the tenth meeting. 

Before Sue, who was first in the "democratic** group, 
her group, she had acquired a feeling of h&hngingness to it as a 
result of interaction with its members and identification with its 
activities and products. “Two meetings passed before the mem- 





114 An Ontlme of Social Psychology 

her shifted from the D- to the A-club referred to her new group 
as ‘we.* Until then she had continually made such remarks as, 
‘Ours is better than yours,’ ' You’re different in this group, 
aren’t you? * and ‘ I don’t like yours ’ ” (p. S8). 

The “democratic” group engaged more frequently than the 
“autocratic** group in unified activity and talked more in terms 
of “ws, wff, and ours” than of “7, ms, and miTis” (pp. 3®-33), 
Whereas the authoritanan leader imposed his own goal on the 
group and “frustrated spontaneous goals,” tlie democratic 
leader suggested seveial goals and let the final goal emerge from 
group decision. As a result, members of the “democratic*’ 
group took group goals as their own. The differences between the 
two groups in sdidarity and identification with group goals and 
products are shown dearly in the results of two votes token at 
the end of twelve weeks: “ (a) whether the meetings should stop 
or continue for a longer period, and (5) what should be done with 
the group property, the masks. All of the A-gioup voted to stop 
with that meeting; four of the U-group voted to continue the 
dub meetings. AH of the A-group meinbers daimed some mask 
for their own, to take home (e.g., ‘Give me mine/ * Give us our 
masks ’) ; all of the D-group members suggested a group disposal 
of one or more of the masks (e.g., ‘Give the pirate to Mr. 
lippitt/ 'Give the black one to the teachei’*)” (p. ST). 

This e^eiizneat lead to another by Lewin, Lippitt, and 
White in which four comparable dubs of lO-yeai’-old boys each 
passed through periods in which they had adult leaders who 
followed “demoOTatic,” “autocratic,” and ** laiasez-faire** pro- 
cedures (i.e., the leader kept out of group activities as much as 
possible).^ The behavior and position of the various kinds of 
leader are summarized in Table I. 

as 

didnH let us do ioha( m wanted to do” "He made us make maskSi 
and the hoys didnH like that” "We didn't have any fun mih him, — 
we didn't have any fights” But the “demooi’atic” leaders tended 
more to be accepted in the group: **He was a good sportt worked 

^ K. LewiD, B. Lippitt, and B. K. White, Fattmu of aggreHive behavior in ex- 
perlmeninlly created "social climates," J, Soe, P^hol., 1996, 10, S71-SOO. Table 1 is 
cm p. STS. 


Here too the autocratic leaders tended to be outside the group 
far as the boys were concerned . In the boys* own words : "He 



115 


Properties of Group Situations 


Ta81.R 1 


Authoritnrian 

Domocratic 

Lmmt-fairt 

1. All determuiaUon 
of policy by the 
leadn. 

• 

1. All policies a mat- 
ter of group dia> 
CuMion and dem- 
slon, oncouraged 
and assisted by the 
leader. 

1. Complete freedom 
for group or in- 
dividual dedrion, 
without ony leader 
participation. 

2. TeehniqiiQB ood ac- 
tivity steps dic- 
tated by the au- 
tborityi one at a 
time, so that future 
Bteps were alvnys 
uncertain to a lorge 
desroe. 

3. Aetivi^ perspec- 
tive gained dur- 
ing first discussion 
period. General 
steps to group goal 
sketohed, and 
where teehniml ad- 
vice was needed 
the leader suggested 
two or three al- 
ternative proee* 
durea from which 
choicQ could be 
nude. 

2. VoriouB materials 
supplied fay the 
lender, who mode 
it clear that he 
would supply In- 
formation when 
asked. He took no 
other part in work 
diseunions. 

8. The leader usu- 
ally dictated the 
particular work task 
and work compan- 
ions of eadi mem- 
ber. 

8. The memberR were 
free to work with 
whomever' they 
chose, and the di- 
vision tasks was 
left up to the 
group. 

8. Complote non-par- 
ticspaflon by lea^. 

4. The domioator was 
*'per8onal'* In bis 
pruBO and crlU- 
cism of the work 
of each member, 
but remained oloof 
&om active, g^up 
poriitapation ezoopt 
when demonatrat- 
ing. He was friendly 
or impersonal rather 
than openly hostile. 

4. The leader was 
"objeotlve” or 
^'fact-ioinded'* In 
his praise and criti- 
cisisi aud tried to 
be a regular group 
member in spirit 
without doing too 
much of the work. 

4. Very infrequent' 
comments on mem-' 
ber activiUes , un- 
less quesdoned, and 
no attempt to par- 
tidpate or > intec- 
fere with the course 
of eventp. 


along with its and thinks of things just Uhe wedo’^ (p. 384). Al- 
though the laissez-faire leader was preferred by most boys to 
the “autocrat/* he too was an Outsider: **We ootdd do what too 



116 An Outline of Social Psydiology 

j^ased ioiik him** (p. 286). As a result of these leader-member 
relationships, the frequency of **gi*oup-minded remai’ks to the 
leader” of the democratic group was much greater than to the 
other leaders. 

This expei'iment yielded ample evidence conceming the 
formation of group structures ond the rise of group products 
with which members identified themselves in varying degrees. 
Unfortunately we can consider here only a fraction of the evi- 
dence and colorful illustrations of group effects. Pei'haps one of 
the cleai'est examples of the different effects of group structures 
on the members concei'ns differing amounts of certain behavior 
displayed by the same members in different “atmospheres” — • 
behavior which was never overtly prohibited or encouraged by 
any of the leaders. For example, in autocratic groups which were 
characterised as “submissive*’ in their reaction to the auto- 
cratic structure, “normal free-and-easy sociability between the 
boys” waa surprisingly low. This may have been at least in 
part because the dominating leader prevented the spontaneous 
formation of group structures and products among the boys— as 
indicated, for example, by the fact tliat these “submissive” 
autoci'atic members were lowest of all groups in “group-minded 
remarks” either to the leader or to other members and tended 
least of all to talk in terms of 

Figs. U and 16 show graphically the differing amounts of 
aggression exprossed by the same groups under different types 
of leadership. The authors, warning against a “one-factor” 
theory of aggression to account for these differences, conceive 
them as a result of the “specific constellation of the field as a 
whole”, (p. 297), Of particulai* interest is the very slight change 
in the amount of aggression shown by Group HI (Fig. 16) in 
different atmoapheros. Here it seems that one important fac- 
tor in the total field was the fact that the boys first were almost 
without adult supervision (laissez-faire) and that certain ways 
of behaving (i.e., “niuning wild”) spontaneously became 
standardized for them. These standardized behavior norms were 
then more potent in determining their behavior than other 

B,. Lippiu, wid E. K. White, " Tbe ‘ Sodpl Climate * of Children’s Groups," la 
R. 0. tiarkw, J. S. ICounin and H. F. Wright (eda.), Ohild Btkavior end 
Nev York; lUcGroW'HQI, 1048, pp. 485-SOO. 




Fw. U. Aggresuve behayior ia Groups I aad n under different methods of 
leadership. (From K. Lewin, E. Lippitt* and E. K. White, in 5oc. 

im, 10, p. S80.) 



Fia, Id. Aggressive behavior in Groups HI and IV under different metiux^ 
of leadership. (Fro>^ p. S8S.) 





118 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

factors which (in other groups) operated toward different be- 
havior in different atmosphei'es. 

In the laissex-faire groups, the boys were, for the most part, 
interacting spontaneously and were relatively fi*ee from adult 
influence. The emerging structures tended toward & united 
group in which the members experienced feelings of belonging- 
ness and solidarity. There was a “high frequency of proposids 
for united action ** and a “surprisingly high proportion of group- 
minded conversation** (p. 1S8). However, the group activity 
(mask-making) was too difficult for these 10-year-olds to plan 
and execute without adult help. The members struggled to hold 
the group to a united course but often failed, and the group 
tended toward disorganization. As a result, when in the laiasez- 
jaire atmosphei'e these boys engaged much more in play ac- 
tivities of their own than when under other conditions. 

The autocratic leaders tried to set their (adult) goals as those 
of the group while frusti'ating goals which oi'ose spontaneously, 
end therefore the members ol the autoci^acies did not identify 
themselves with the goals. They tended to do simply “what he 
wants me to do.** When the leader was away, work on mask- 
making flagged. But in the democratic group, the members 
themselves selected goals among those suggested by the leader. 
These goals became ihdr goals. The leader*s presence in the club 
then mode comparatively little difference in the group activity. 
Tliis group was allowed to form and function more or less 
spontaneously by the leader, who tried to participate in tlie 
group and to help in problems too tough for the boys. In this 
group “spontaneous cohesion*’ ('‘working toward common 
goals, thicJdng in terms of * we* rather than ‘I,’ showing fidend- 
liness rather than hostility toward other group members, etc.'*) 
was "deddedly higher” (p. 1S4). A latei* study by Lewin 
showed how identification with group goals makes possible 
changes in individual tastes, in this case for food. The subjects 
who participated in making a group decision for action felt and 
acted as though the decision was theirs}^ 

This does not mean that unified group action, identification 

” £. Lemn, "The IteUtiv* Effectiveness of a Lecture Method and a Method of 
Group Dedaion for Changing Eood Habits," State University Iowa Child Welfare 
Beeearch. Station, 1042. ' 



Properties of Group Situations 119 

of members with the course of action of the group, did not occur 
in the other groups. Por exnmple, in the ''aggressive autoc- 
racy/' iu which a generally rowdy atmosphere among members 
prevailed, the group showed its solidarity in I'ebelling agauut the 
dominating adult leader. "About the middle of the aeries of 
six meetings the club membera went to their teacher witli a 
letter of resignation signed by four of them. They asked their 
teacher to give this to the leader when he came to get them aftei' 
school. The teacher refused to act aa a go-between, suggesting 
that, the boys go to the leader directly, but when he appeared 
after school, courage seemed to wane and they oil went to the 
meeting as usual." 

During the .process of interaction in the group and identi- 
fication with its activities and products, the individual comes 
to think of it as his group (in-group) as opposed to oifter groups 



the amount of such behavior between members of democratic and of laiiMSi- 
/airs groups 18 shown, ibtd., p. SB5.) 

K. Lewio, B. Lippitt, «nd B. 1C. Wbifce, op, oU,, p. 


lao An Outline of Social Psychology 

(out''group). He can then oppose other groups and can protect 
Us own group from the attack of others. In the experimental 
situations suc^ out-group aggression'* appeared. In view of the 
relative solidarity of the various groups> it is interesting that 
the skirmishes occurred in both coses between a laiasess-faire 
and a "democratic** group. As shown in Fig. 16, the first "war** 
began with one or two lamez-fairs members calling names and 
bi&ering with the "democratic** group. As the curve shows, 
the "democratic** group responded in kind. When the laissez- 
faire group decided to "have a war,** the "democratic** group 
responded with even greater aggressive action. (This consisted 
chiefly of throwing water, piec^ of clay, and paint.) A second 
fi^t occurring between the same groups was "legalized** as it 
started, with the words, "It’s a war all right.** In the authors* 
words: "On the later occasion the pattern of inter-group con- 
flict had been established; it was, by that time, a part of the 
boys* 'cognitive structure*— a dearly defined region which 
they could enter or not os they diose; and since they had found 
the first *war* to be very pleasantly exciting, they i*eadily and 
quickly entei'ed the same region again when the general jpsy- 
chological situation was conducive to conflict** (p. 287). Here 
is an excellent example, in experimentally created groups, of 
standardized aggression toward an out-group. 

Even experimentally created groups do not function as dosed 
systems. Ti^en the subjects enter the experimental situation, 
tiey carry witli them attitudes formed in other groups; and 
these attitudes affect their reactions in the new group situation. 
For example, excerpts from the record of the U&eez-faire group 
show how the behavior of two boys changed in tejma of the 
compatibility of group activities with cei’tain of their dominant 
values. When the gi'oup was attempting to build or make 
something (e.g., a map). Bill, who is "highly adult-value- 
centered** was the leader, while Finn, " who is not at all * adult- 
value-centered* *’ was "very restless.’* But when they started 
a game of war, Finn was "in his element,** whereas Bill was 
"misei-able** (pp. 120-180). 

Anotlier example of tlie influence of outside groups was the 
fact that tlie ou^ boy who preferred the autocratic leader to 
the democratic leader was the son of an army officer. As a result 



Properties of Group Situations 121 

of belongingness in bis own family group, he ‘^consciously put 
a high value on sti'ict discipline*’ (p. 284)» 

One major finding of these studies is that genuine coopei'ation 
and participation on the part of Uie individual appeal* when he 
identifies himself with the taslc or situation at hand (i»e„ when 
he becomes ego^involved). As the foregoing experiments indi- 
cate, democratic participation in the group is usually conducive 
to such identification. But, as with the aimy officer’s son, if 
personal identification is otherwise established (autocratically 
in this case), this established identification prevails over 
democratic situations. Heports from present-day Geimany 
showing that many people oi'e at a loss as to what to do with de- 
mocracy give the point a grim reality. The important practical 
implication of this fact is that, to get the individual id^tified 
with democratic practices, it Is not sufficient to put him in a 
democratic atmosphere; it is also necessoi^ to destroy the 
effects of the background inimical to it. This point will come 
out again when we consider the effects of membership and 
reference groups on a change in attitudes (in the Bennington 
study, see pp. 180-165). 



6 . 

Ejects of Membership and Other 
Reference Groups 


IN THB PRECEDING CHAPTER WB DMCUBSED BBIBPLY THE RISE, 

in group situations, ot new products, goals, and structures, tire 
parts of which are functionally interdependent. We gave a brief 
summaiy of representative experiments definitely demonstrat- 
ing such group effects, In this chapter, we shall first present 
some additional evidence fiem life situations which sociologists 
have been accumulating for nearly three decades — ^most no- 
tably represent^ in the worlcs of Thrasher, Zorbaugh, Clifford 
Shaw, Whyte, etc. After all, the final test of psychologicid formu- 
lations, no matter how brilliant they may appear to be in them- 
selves, lies in ^eir validity in actual life situations. 

During the past decade, the fact that group effects oiise, 
understandable only in te^ina of the interdependence of ports 
(the roles of individual members), aud tliat standards or norms 
peculiar to the group also arise, has become established in 
psychology. This basic orientation, perhaps more than any 
other single development, helped to save social psychology 
from being a compendium of discrete facts, and brought it in 
fine with tile reality of the phenomena of concrete social rela- 
tionships at the level of the social sciences. 

But from here we Aow to go Junker. For groupst especially 
today, are mt closed systems. The integrated or contradictory 
nature (as to direction, interests, values, status relation- 
ships, etc.) of different groups which are functionally related 
(in positive or antagonistic wa^) has also to'be faced as one of 
our major problems at the psychological level. The currently 
vital issues of socio-economic class groupings and antagonisms, 
issues of prejudice based on these groupings and on other less 
significant in-group and out-group formations, the agonizing 

122 


Effects of Reference Groups 133 

issue of “margiuality/* and “dilemmas and contradictions of 
status” so prevalent today in “casually patterned” western 
societies forcibly impose diis major problem on us. We can 
no longer be complacently satisfied by announcing, as a major 
finding, that the individual experiences and behaves differently 
in group situations os determined by the sti'uctural properties 
of the group. Many a person today necessarily moves in dif- 
ferent groups which may and do exert different and contra- 
dictoiy demands on him. They tend to pull him in different 
directions, to give rise in him to different (and not infrequently 
contradictory) values, norms, loyalties, and conformities. They 
certainly contribute their shoi’e to confiict situations with un- 
fortunate consequences for him.^ 

This state of affairs is mainly responsible for the appearance 
of a diecrepmcy for the individual in regulating his attitudes, 
loyalties, and conformities. This discrepancy, the consequences 
of which are far reaching, may be summarized as follows. Or- 
dinarily the attitudes, identifications, loyalties of an individual 
are largely derived from the values, norms, status regulations 
of the group or groups of which he is an actual member. These 
groups to which a person actually belongs, informal^ (as the 
son of a family, a member of a clique or gang or economic class, 
in the choice of which he had no pyt, etc.) of formally (as a 
student of a college, member of a dub, union, etc.), may be 
designated as his niemberskip groups. Ordinarily his attitudes 
and identifications, and subsequently his diverse specific re* 
actions, are regulated and determined by such memb^ship 
groups. But not always. He may actually be a member of a 
particular group, but psychologically refer himself to a diffeieut 
group and regulate Ids attitudes and aspirations accordingly 
(i.e., in reference to that other group). The case of a m^ber of 
the working class or the middle class who, consciously or un- 
consciously, relates hiniself to a higher class and tries to adjust 
his living and his experiences accoi^ingiy is a concrete illustra- 
tion of the point. Particularly since Yeblen's The Theory of ihe 

* PflijrahoanalytiQ Hterative leplcU with material sboving the consequencM of> 
this state of alTairs. See. for example, E. Homey, New Ways P^yoioeitafysU, Now 
Yorks Norton. 1088; E. Promm, Sscapefrom Frssim/Scw Xorks Bintdiart. lOil; 
H. S. Sullivan. Cono^tOM qf Modem PsyoMafry, Washington: WUliani Alansbn 
vriiite F^^latrie ^ndatlon, 1047. 



ia4i An Outline of Social Psychology 

Ijeimre Ctasa^ the problems that arise from this discrepancy 
have been dealt with in 'various sociological and psychologic^ 
works. Zn ahari, evidetiee indicates that the individuaVa standards 
and asyirations are regulated in relation to the reference group io 
which he relates himself. Usually the reference group to which the 
individual relates himself is his actual membership gi'oup. But, 
especially in liighly competitive societies (such as the capitalist 
societies of America and Europe), the hierarchical aii'angement 
of which is based on sharp and yet not impregnable vertical 
class lines, this is frequency not the ca^e. Thei'e may be, at 
times at least, a discrepancy between the individual’s actual 
membership group and tlie reference group which he uses to 
regulate his standards and aspirations. In the next section of 
this chapter, we sliaLl present on extensive study illustrating 
the effect of membersliip groups and of outside reference groups 
in changing attitudes. 

llie Effects of Membersliip vs. Outside Groups and Situ* 
ations 

Groups formed spontaneously as a consequence of informal 
contacts of individual members may be taken as excellent protO' 
types for studying various aspects of group interaction and 
group products. a 

Adolescent cliques, especially gangs, and groupings foi'med 
among people isolated from the main stream of social life ore 
e^eamples par excellence of such spontaneously formed gi'oups. 
They embody in themselves the motivational factors that bring 
individuals together; they illustrate the way a more or less 
stable group structui'e is formed, with roles emerging for the 
individual members, including the leader; they indicate that in 
the .process of formation) norms (codes) and identifications, 
solidarity and loyalty, with their appropriate expectations pe^ 
culiar to the group in question, arise and regulate the behavior 
of tlie members in various matters of concern to tliem all. Con- 
sequently the conduct of the individual members is evaluated 
acconliogly.* 

* L) the extensiva studies of Thrasher, Zorbaugh, Clifford Shaw, and Whyte, vo 
find a mine of excellent data concretely illustrating these various ospeots of group 
psychology. The longitudinol ease studies of Clifford Shaw (the cases of Stanley, 



Effects of Beference Groups 1S5 

Practically all such spontaneously formed informal groupings 
(cliques and gangs) serve two functions. (1) They organisse ac- 
tivities which actually or moanoualy aatirfy the deprivations 
(e.g.) food) clothing) sex) that made the individuals gravitate 
toward each other initially. (*) They give the individual mem- 
bei's a sense of belongingness and staius. This is especi^ly true 
in cliques or gangs members of which lacked a sense of be- 
longingness to any social group* including family. These in- 
formally organized membership groups become the main sources 
of some sense of secmity for such individuals. In groups (clubs) 
whose members were above the subsistence level initially and 
did not suffer a gnawing sense of lack of belongingness, the 
activities may be directed toward achieving disUnoiion and 
providing mutual aid in securing certain motivational ends. 

Whyte’s Study of the Street Comer Boys 

In the recent work of Whyte we ffnd a concise treatment of 
the formation and functioning of informal group structures 
agoiiist the background of a alum area, with its peculiar prob- 
lems arising from its relative segregation from socieiy at large.* 
Particularly, the Street Corner Boys group that he stuped 
shows the main features of group structures : the rise of relative 
roles, including leadership, the emergence of group noims and 
group conduct. One of the merits of this stu^ is that Whyte 
went beyond the in-group picture of the grouping. He deliber- 
ately made a special point of studying the impact of the outside 
groups and situations on the group in general and on individual 
members in particuloi'. 

The Street Comer Boys group arose from the conditions ex- 
isting in a slum area of a large eastern city in ;^erica. As 
Thrasher and Clifford Shaw pointed out, such areas — still m 
the process of **8ettliug down” in the general pattern of Ameri- 
can life — ‘ore particularly condudve to the spontaneous lonna- 

Sidney, and tliS Martin brotborsi for example) ore amonS the moat 'valuable for the 
students of individual-group reUtionahipa. 8 m C. 81iaw, Tkf Jaef^RoUer, Chicago: 
University of Chicago Preai, 1980; CShaw, Tiu.NatwalSitloryaf aDdmqueniCarMr, 
Chicago: Univerrity of Chicago rien, KMl; G. Slisw («d.), Prohors m Crime, Chicago: 
Univerlity of Chlc^ Fresi, 1888. 

* W. F. Whyte. Stmt Comer Booistv, Chicago: Univeriity of Chicago PNa^,l(|48., 




126 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tion of informal group structures. The social stability in these 
slum areas is precarious* One of the best indexes of the peculiar 
state of alum areas (which have a relatively large munber of 
non-dtizens) is that they are looked down upon and segregated 
in various ways by the main group of established I’espectability. 
Cornerville (this particular alum area) has a high j^ercentage of 
foreign- and American-bom Italian inhabitants. The disti'ict 
** has become populoily known as a disordei'ed and lawless com- 
munity. He is an Italian, and the Italians are looked upon by 
upper-class people as among the least desirable of the immigrant 
peoples. . , , The Italians have had to build up their own busi- 
ness hierarchieSi and when the prosperity of the twenties came 
to an end, it became increasingly difficult for the newcomer to 
advance in this way** (p. 273). 

For the people who live in Cornerville, social lifs does not 
present a picture of confusion and lawlessness. It is fairly well 
organized, with hierarchies of socio-economic groups. *‘Accord- 
ing to Cornerville people, society is made up of big people and 
little people— with intermediaries serving to bridge the gaps 
between them. The masses of Cornerville people are litUe 
people. They cannot approach the big people directly but must 
have an intermediary to intercede for them. They gain tliis 
intercession by establishing connections with the intermediary, 
by performing services for him, and thus making him obligati 
to them. The inteimedioiy pei'foims the same functions for tlie 
big man. The interactions of big shots, inteimediai'ies, and 
little guys build up a hierarchy of personal relations based upon 
a system of reciprocal obligations’* (pp. 271-272). 

The Street Corner Boys, also known as the Nortons, stem 
from the representative mass of people of Coraerville— the little 
guys. Several of these boys frequently do not have any money 
to spend. At the time the study was carried out, in the late 
’thirties, several of the Nortons including the leader, Doc, did 
not have any steady jobs even though they were well over 20 
years old. All the Norton boys grew to adolescence and adult- 
hood under the uncomfortable feeling of being little guys even 
' in their own community. From occasional encounters with the 
more respectable and bigh-biow groups or dubs in their own 
commimity, they knew fliat they were treated os rough little 



Effects of Reference Groups \%1 

guys, and the tendency was to put them in their “ plate.” These 
circumstances certainly helped to moke tliem gravitate toward 
each othei*; to have a standing in the world and to secure mutual 
help from their fellow men. Thus motivated, the Street Comer 
Boys group makes a clear, well-structured picture, worthy of 
study by the social psychologist as being representative of 
other such groups. Ihe group is not a oi'eation peculiar to 
Norton Street alone. In almost any city with a similar sti'eet, 
on whicli boys grow up with various kinds of deprivations and 
lock social belongingness in relation to society in general, there 
is a similai' sort of in-group. 

Still on the fringe of the main vertical current of social or- 
ganization in relation to economic standing and status, still 
left to themselves, these boys (like boys in hundreds of cities in 
similai* conditions) gravitate toward each other in their search 
to relieve their deprivations and to achieve some sense of the 
belongingness that is one of the essential conditions of psycho- 
logical security. In the course of their reciprocal contacts, a 
group structure is patterned with its own peculiar hierarchical 
arrangement of positions. As Thrasher pointed out in the 
’twenties, even the emergence of the leader is a function, of the 
group. Usually the group shapes the leader, of course on the 
basis of some special capacity demanded by the particular 
group. In one case it may. be physical strength; in another it 
may be shrewdness; in a thiz^ it may be something utterly 
different. In the cose of the Comer Boys the capacity that de- . 
termined the person of the leader was toughness. On the basis of 
this characteristic the leader emerged. Doc was first a lieu- 
tenant of the leader of the gang, but when he repeatedly licted 
the leader (Nutsy), the group centered around Doc., . 

Once a group is crystallized in the. course of contacts and 
events of significance to the members, some sort of in-group 
formation, a group structure* emerges. Henceforth, the rela- ' 
tionship between members and the attitudes .toward "out- 
siders” ore largely determined by the group. The higher the 
place of the member in the group, the more stringent are the 
expectations placed upon him. Ih Whyte’s words: 

Each member of the comer gwg has his own position in the 
structure. Although the positions mayiemam unchanged oyer long 



128 An Outline of Social Psychology 

periods of timet they should not be conceived in static terms. To have 
a position means that the individual has a customary way of inter- 
acting with other members of the group. When the pattern of inter- 
actions changes, the positions change. The positions of the members 
are interdependent, and one position cannot change without causing 
some adjustments in the other positions. Since the group is organized 
around the men witli the top positions, some of the men with low 
standing may change positions or drop out without upsetting the 
balance of the group. For example, when Lou Danaro and Fred 
Mackey [^membera with low positions in the group] stopped partici- 
pating in the activities of the Nortons, those activities continued to 
be organized in much the same manner as before, but when Doc and 
Danny [members with high positions in the group] dropped out, the 
Nortons disintegrated, and the patterns of interaction had to be re- 
organized along different lines ^p. 26!^08). 

These hierarchical positions of membership are represented 
by Whyte in the simple diagram shown in Fig. 17. 

Once such a group structure is patterned, group action is 
determined along certain lines. “Group activities are originated 
by the men with the highest standing in the group, and it is 
natural for a man to encourage an activity in which be excels 
and discourage one in which be does not excel*' (p. 24). Amore 
or less lasting set of expectations from each and to each member 
is largely determined by the relative positions in the group. 
(This established level of a set of expectations is perhaps one 
of the most telUng indexes of the reality of the group structure.) 

This con be concretely illustrated by incidents observed in 
one of the major lines of activitira of the Norton group. At one 
time, the Nortons were seriously interested in bowling. The 
peifomanee in bowling becamet more or less, the sign of disHno- 
iion in ike group. As a consequence of this, the high performance 
of the top-ranking members was accepted as natural and was 
encouraged. But not so with the high performance of members 
with low relative standing. That their performance might sur- 
p^s that of high-ranking members was something that simply 
did not fit into the picture of established expectations. Hence, 
tliey were put “in their place.” Take the cose of Frank, a mem- 
ber with a rather low standing. Frank was a good player in his 
own right, yet “he made a miserable showing’* wkUe placing in 
his own group. In Frank's words: "I can’t seem to play ball 



1^9 


Effects of Reference Groups 

THE NORTONS 
Sluing find Summei' 1937 



Une of Influoncd 


Poflitiotia of boxes indieato 
relative etatue 

Fig. 17. Hierorahical arrangement of members’ |>ositioiu and lines of 
influence in the Nortons. (From W. F. Whyte, Stria Coriur Sociaif, Uiii- 
vorsity of Chicago Press, 104S.) ^ 

when 1 am playing with fellows I know, like that bunch. 1 do 
much better when I am playing for the Stanley A.C. against 
some team in Dexter, Westland, or out of town.** Whyte con- 
cludes: ‘‘Accustomed to filling an inferior position, Prank was 
unable to star even in his favorite sport wb^ he was competing 
against members of his own group” (p. 10)- 
Once a group is formed, the activities run in relation to the 
focal position of the leader, The disputes and frictions, as' well 
os the positive actions, ultimately get settled or find expression 
through him. If some group members are dissatisfied with the 
direction of activities or think certain individuals in their 
gi'Oup are not living up to the group code, they sooner or later 

















180 An Outline of Social Psychology 

complain to the leader. They try to get him to act in the desired 
direction or to bring decisive pressure on the non-conformists. 
The individual prestige of tlie member is an important factor in 
determining individual behavior and performance in relation to 
others. For example, tvhen Doc moved to the top as a conse- 
quence of excellence in fighting, a serious challenge came from 
Tony Fontana. Here Doc's established prestige saved the situa- 
tion for him. As he put it : 

Tony was in my gang when we were kids togetlier. He was a good 
fighter . When he entered the ring as an amateur, he started off winning 
three fights by knockouts. When he turned pro, lie was still knocking 
them out. ... At that time I was the leader of the gang. X was the 
tough guy. But be began to get fresh with me. One night he began 
puling me around and talking big. I listened to him. I thought, “He 
must be tough. All those knockouts have got to mean something.** 
So after a while I said, “I'm going up to bed.** I got undressed and 
went to bed. but X couldn’t sleep. 1 put on xny clothes and came down 
c^ain. I said. “Say that to me againl** He did and I let him have it — 
pow! . . . But he wouldn’t fight me. Why? l^restige, X suppose. Later 
we had it out with gloves on the playground. He was too good for me, 
Bill. X stayed with him, but be was too tough. . . . Could he bit I 

On the other hand, the authority and prestige that the leader 
enjoys have theii* counterparts in the expectations and the de- 
gree of responsibility demanded of him. If he does not live up 
to this level he suffers loss of prestige and even position to a 
corresponding degree. “ When he gives his word to one of his 
boys, he keeps it** (p. Sfi9). Likewise, '*The leader need not be 
the best baseball playei’, bowler, or fighter, but he must have 
some skill in whatever' pursuits are of particular interest to the 
group” (p. 260). 

The members with low status do not lose face if they do not 
live up to the group code and expectations, but the leader does. 
For example, whereas the lesser members of the group did not 
have strict scruples about their money dealings. Doc made 
sti'ict rules for himself in the use and securing of money, He had 
to be more generous in spending while his boys were oi'ound, 
but he was almost always broke and unemployed. Lack of 
money also troubled him in relation to group activities. If an 



Effects of Reference Groups 131 

activity required the spending of money and he was broke as 
usual, he would discourage the line of action; and if he failed to 
do 30, he would simply find an excuse to get out of it. 

In the binding in-group formation, the real identifications 
of individual members are anchored to the group. A sense of 
loyalty and solidarity is generated in them as a natural process 
which manifests itself in actual behavior. To this effect, Whyte 
observed: "Out of such interaction there arises a system of 
mutual obligations which is fundamental to group cohesion. If 
the men are to cai'ry on their activities as a unit, there are many 
occasions when they must do favors for one another. The code 
of the corner boy requires him to help his friends when he can 
and to refrain from doing anything to harm them*' (p. S56). 
(In Clifford Shaw’s longitudinal caae studies we find striking 
incidents which verge toward self-sacrifice on the part of group 
members not to let down the fellows in their gang.) 

Among many other incidents indicating group solidarity, 
Whyte reported the following. Helen, whom the Nortons 
thought was Doc’s girl friend, was sick in bed. The boys knew 
that he had no money to spend on her by way of ^'ahowiug his 
consideration. A few fellows got together, raised five doUars, 
and sent flowers to Helen as thou^ th^ were sent by Doc. 
Danny, one of the Nortons, who told this incident, . added, 
"But what things we couldn’t do with that %B ” (p. 33). 

Solidarity is not a one-way affah', i.e., only from the boys to 
the leader. The leader exhibits it to an even greater eTctenti 
proportional to his high position. Doc’s refusal to accept a girl’s 
invitation in order to stick with his gang, who were socially 
slighted, illustrates this fiact. Shortly after the above ihoidwt 
took place, the following incid^t occurred: 

/When the fellows were in. Jennings’, one of the girls was kidding 
Doc about his reputation as the great Ipver and claiming that he was 
afraid to go out with her. As he idd the story: . . .'*’A11 rights I aud % 
would go out with her. But she said, you must come to my 
party. ’ I asked her, ‘Who’s going to be there? ’ * ^ 

'* ‘Tony Cardlo, Chick Mcreili, and Angelo Cucci,’ idie says. 

“‘Who else?' - 
‘Nobody dse.* 

“ That steamed me up. Danny, Long John, and Erank were at the 



13S An Outline of Social Psychology 

some table with mei and she didn^t invite them. ... 1 told her, ‘No, 
Pm going some place that night.* 

“ She says, ‘ That’s not true, you just don't want to come.* 

" 'All light,* I said, ‘ I don’t want to come.* 

“ And she steamed up. When she went back to her table, I turned to 
the boys. They were very depressed. I told them, ‘ Fay no attention 
to it, she’s stupid. She’s tactless’” (pp. 8&-84). 

As will be further elaborated in the next chapter, in the 
interaction of members in foiming an in-group a set of stand- 
ards or norms invariably arises to regulate the activities of the 
group as a whole and of the individual members, and to set 
goals and aspirations for them. Per example, the following ob- 
servation reported by ^Vhyte shows how sexual behavior is 
regulated by the prevalent norma of tlie group.* 

The incest taboo operates in Cornerville, os elsewhere, to prohibit 
access to females of certain specified familial ties. While marriages 
may be contracted beyond these incest limits, the corner-boy code 
also prohibits nonmarital access to relatives who are not blood rela- 
tions (for example, the brother-indaw’s cousin) and to relatives of 
friends. A comer boy described such a case to me. He was careful to 
explain that his friend, the girl’s cousin, knew that she was a “lay” 
and would have been glad to have him enjoy himself. Furthermore, 
the ^1 was charing after him so that she was practically forring the 
sex relationship upon him. When he was about to have intercourse, 
he thought of his friend, and, as he says, ”1 couldn’t do a thing.” It 
is only with an outrider, with someone who is not related to him or 
to a friend, that the corner boy feels free to have sexual relatione 
(p. 28). 

The standards are being continually defined in action and in group 
discussion. The comer boys are eoatinuBlly talking over the girls tliat 
they know and others that they have observed in terms of all these 
categories. Consequently, a high degree of consensus tends to arise in 
placing the individual girl in her position in each category. The men 
then know how they ore supposed to act in each case; and the ob- 
server, equipped with this conceptual scheme, is able to predict how, 
os a general rule, the men will attempt to act (p. 29). 

disintegration of the Group 

Groups, especially spontaneously fonned ones, are not fixed, 
immutable entities. Almost Kxmstantly factors from within the 
* W. F. Wbyte, A slum aez code, Amer. J. SooM., 1048. 49, £4-81. 



Effects of Eefei-ence Groups 133 

group (such as Motion between members over status, the lack 
of fulfillment of expectations especially on the part of those 
who are in higher positions, dominance of individual motives 
ovei* group norms, etc,) and from without (e.g., the impact of 
other groups and of society at large) tend to break down the 
grouping. 

The getting settled down of group membei's (particulai'ly 
the high-ronlcing ones) in other gi'oupinga and positions not 
compatible with the preoccupations of the group is the major 
factor in the disintegration of the gang. The “settling down*’ 
may be a result of getting married, or of obtaining a steady job 
witJi its own opposite demands, or of holding a position in the 
hierarchy of society at large. Ihe decisive effect of settling 
down in some such way has been amply elaborated in the writ- 
ings of Thrasher, Clifford Shaw, 'Whyte, and others. This again 
indicates in a negative way the function that the spontaneously 
formed group serves in the life of individual members. The 
group gave its members a feeling of belongingness and security, 
among other benefits. When these are at&eved elsewhere, the 
identification with the informal gang drops away. But as long 
as settling down is not achieved elsewhere, no amount of preach- 
ing and punishment can change group affiliation or activities. 
A great bulk of evidence could be cited to support this. 

In the cose of the Nortons, disintegration came when the 
leader suddenly let the boys down. Doe, the leader, was run- 
ning for an office with the knowledge and the enthusiastic sup- 
port of all the Nortons. Without the knowledge of his boys, who 
were doing their level best for his election. Doc announced 
abruptly one day his withdrawal from the contest, TOs was a 
clear case of letting down the boys who were looking up to him. 

“The news of Doc’s withdrawal hit the Nortons with devas- 
tating effect” (p. 40). Their faith in him was shaken, “When a 
corner-boy leader mobilizes his friends and arouses their en- 
thusiasm in the support of a candidate and then the candidate 
suddenly withdraws, the group suffers a serious let-down. The 
leader has committed his group to the wrong man, and }na 
prestige suffers. The candidate is suspected of having, sold out 
his friends, of having made a bargain with another politician 
whereby he capitalizes upon their support in oMer to gain some 



184 An Outline of Social Psychology 

material advantage.” " In short, the shocking effect is propor- 
tional to the level of expectation — ^the higher the expectation, 
the greater is the reaction when the expected course of action 
is violated. Doc was no longer the leader of the Nortons; he 
was not even in a position to discuss politics. He lost his magic 
and became a nobody, though he continued to hang around as 
an unattached individual. 

The Nortons thereupon disintegrated as a group unit. Some 
of the boys formed a new gang, this time c^yBtalli^^ed around a 
new leader, Angelo. One night. Doc happened to be in the hang- 
out of Angelo and bis boys — ^the new group. Doc suggested to 
some of them, among them his former lieutenants, that they go 
some place together. His word carried no weight. The boys 
answered separately that they preferred to hang around with 
Angelo. (But the fate of the new gang is not our concern here.) 

Doc was prompted to reach his precipitate decision by the 
demands of the situations outside of his group to which he ex- 
posed himself by his candidacy in the main current of socio- 
political life. As Whyte point^ out, one cannot be a good 
member of the informal groups In Comerville and of the re- 
spectable groups outside them at the same time. The two come 
into conflict, with subsequent reverberations on the individual. 
For the two worlds (even two functionally related in the whole 
socio-economic setup) are not harmoniously integrated. It is 
tough, especially on a sensitive man like Doc. We shall briefly 
touch on the effects of such outside influences. 

The Impact of Functiouidly R<flated Out-Groups and 
Situations 

No matter how well structured a gi'oup is, no matter how 
strongly it influences the identifications and loyalties of the 
individual members, {hs psychology of groups is doomed to romaiv, 
aoademie if thefactora almost constantly impinging from Hie gen~ 
eral social setting are not included in the study of it. Only by con- 
sidering the impact of the general social setup in which these 
group formations operate (or any group formation, for that 
matter) can we hope to do justice to the total situation, Other* 

* W. P. Whyte, SirsU Corntr p. 41. 



Effects of Reference Groups 186 

wise insistence on the inclusion of major features of the total 
situation will not promote this excellent methodological stand 
except paying it lip sei'vice. 

As pointed out by many aodologiatS) the rise of various types 
of gongs in the cities is due (in Clifford Shaw*s words) to **procr 
esses more or less common to American cities.** Further evi- 
dence fi'om the Gomerville group shows that the main activities 
it was engaged in (e.g., bowling, baseball, taking girls out in 
automobiles, political campaigns, etc.) are characteristically 
American activities. This is so in spite of the fact that this 
particular group happened to belong to an Italian ethnic group 
in an Italian alum district and was regarded with considerable 
aloofiiess and discrimination by the established and respectable 
people in the old New England city. 

In the Comerville slum itself (even though considered by 
other disb'icts an area of chaos and confusion), the social life is 
hierarchically organized with a mmority of “big shots *’ and a 
gi'eat majority of little fellows. And our Street Corn^.Boys 
(Nortons) stem from the bottom stratum of working people. 
During tlie depression when the group membership was at 
its height moat of the members were either totally unemployed 
or only partially employed. There are innumerable other boys* 
gangs of their Class and of higher classes, up to college boys and 
&eir clubs. The Settlement House on the Nortons* street is 
above their social level. As Long John (one of the Nortons from 
the lowest level of society) remarked during a short period 
when they frequented the Settlement House,*even it represents 
on exclusive set: “I think that everybody that goes in there 
thinks they’re a little better than the next fellow** (p. St7).' 

The encounter of the Comer Boys with a group of girls (The 
Aphrodite Club) who ranked soci^ly a little higher illustrates 
neatly how sex motives directed to females higher in the Social ' 
scale act as factors disruptive ol group unity. Education, good 
manners, and appearance had great value in ihe eyes of these 
girls. They wei'e anxious to make friends with the regular boys 
of the Settlement House, whose position was alittle higher than 
their own. Finally, after considerable discussion, the Norton 
boys created a situation which enabled them to meet the girls 
in a group. For a short period the association with the girls was. 



136 An Outline of Social Psychology 

the chief preoccupation of the boys. Then the top members 
began to wony that living up to the girls, preoccupation with 
them, and the jealousy they might cause between the boys 
would disrupt their unity. The top members went to work to 
get their group separated from the girls* group. After much 
friction and effort, they succeeded. The group regained its soli- 
darity but not without a loss. A few of the boys remained loyal 
to the girls, and their place in the Comer group became “rather 
tenuous.” 

As we have seen, it was the impact of the larger social setting 
which brought about the ultimate disintegration of this group. 
The picture is concisely drawn by Whyte: 

No poUHeian in ComemiUe can be succet^td loUhout (he tuppofl of 
comer boyct and many corner-boy leaders enter polities. The comer-boy 
leader performs some of the p^ltician's functions for his followers. 
He looks after their interests and speaks for them in contacts with 
outsiders. Yet there are a number of things he cannot do. He cannot 
get them political jobs or favors unless he subordinates himself and 
his group to some politician. It frequently occurs to him and his follow* 
ers io ask themselves why the leader shotM have to subordinate himself. 
He feels that the politicians have neglected the people's interests. His 
friends try to persuade him to enter the contest. If he has any cci^ 
pocity for public speaking, their urgings will be hard to resbt. He will 
begin to extend his contacts so that he moves in wider and more in- 
fluential aocial circles. 

In bis first campmgn he simply tries to prove that he has enough 
support to be taken seriously. When be has ^own his strength, he is in 
a position to stage a more vigorous campaign or to make tcims with 
his rivals. If lie bwomes on important figure, he will be offered money 
or perhaps even a political job if he will drop out of the contest and 
support another politician. If he accepts, his followers feel that he has 
**sold out, ** and it is di^ouUfor him to coniwue as a poliHoalfigure of any 
prominence. He may be able to retain some personal following if he 
is able to do favors for the hoys, but he will no longer have a chance 
to win an election. 

If he refuses to compromise himself and continues to run for office, 
the pdUHGim must find a way of financing kis campaigns. Furihemore, 
he is required by the nature qf his posiiion to spend a great deal qf monoy 
dial he need not spend as a private oitiem. Whenever a local organiza- 
tion gives any sort of entertainment, he is expected to contribute an 
advertisement for the program book or to buy a number of ticlmts. 



Effects of Reference Groups 137 

People know that the politician cannot afford to turn them down, and 
they put him at the top of the **aucker list.** Ho is espected to be a free 
spender in entertaining his friends and acquaintances. Hia corner hoyg 
can eoniribtde little to help finance such poliHoal aolimty. It the politician 
has built up hia own political club, he may obtain a campaign contri- 
bution from its treasury, but it is a rare club which has much to spore 
even for this purpose in the first few years of its existence. Since a man 
becomes obligated to those tshc eonifibuie money to kis campaign, ike 
high cost of poUtioal actwity tmds to draw ComerotUe poUHeiana away 
from thsir original group ties.* 

Doc was encouraged by his own boys to run for an office and 
he was loyally supported by them. But his campaign required 
money; and he was penniless. He could not bring himself to sell 
out to outside politicians. His way out of the conflict between 
the two worlds was to drop out of the contest, saying that there 
were too many candidates and he had no chance. But his real 
reason, the conflict between the world of the Comer Boy and 
the world of the politician, comes out in his own simple de- 
scription: 

The more there were in the fight, the better it was* for me, , , , It 
was the social demands that were too much for me. When I*m doWn 
at Jennings* with the boys, somebody comes up to me and wants me 
to buy a ticket for something. Tm batted out, so I have to refuse. 
That happens all the time, Bill. ... As a politician, l*in supposed to 
go to dances and meetings, and I can*t go because 1 haven't got the 
money. Fellows come up to me and ask for cords with my name on 
them and stickers and signs. I can’t give them any. . . . You can’t be 
that way in politics. They hold it against you. If you don't buy their 
ticket, they call you a cheap bastard. They cut you up behind youn 
back. ... I worried about it. Many nights X walked the floor until 
three or four in the morning. That was too much, Bill. ... It was 
tough getting out. The paesarU in Welport were all steamed up. So 
many people had pledg^ their support to me. And I never asked 
anybody for his support. Not once! They all came to me. Now that 
it's all over, I think I could have won. X really think so. . . . Next 
time X won’t get in the fight unless I have $S00 in my pocket. But 
this was really the time for me. In two years — ^who knows what will 
happen? . . . Well, it was fun while I was in there (pp. 3£M0). 

* W. F. Whyte, Street Corner Sooieiy, Chicago: Uoivernty ot Chlcogo I*reas, lD4d» • 

pp. SOe-BlO (itailu nine). 



138 An Outline of Social Psychology 

We shall have more to say about the disintegration or collapse 
of groups later when we deal with the psychology of social 
change. 

The Effects of Reference Groups on Attitudes and Attitude 
Change 

It has become clear by this time that groups play a major 
role in shaping attitudes in man. In fact, it may be safe to 
assert that the formation and effectiveness of attitudes cannot 
be properly accoimted for without relating them to their group 
matrix. The converging line of evidence coming from soci- 
ologists on one hand (Threaherj Zorbaugh, Clifford Shaw, 
Whyte, etc.) and from psychologists on the other (Piaget, 
Healy, etc.) established this fret, picture presented by tlie 
new generation of the Soviet Union — a structurally new, inte- 
grated social order) showing a complete reversal of attitudes in 
millions of individuals — should make this fact incontestable to 
anyone. 

Bspecially important in this connection is the implication 
of Hyman’s work on the psychology of status. Hyman found 
that standaixls people set for themselves are determined largely 
by reference groups to which they relate themselves and ^at 
** within each status dimension on individual’s judgment of his 
status shifts when reference groups are changed.” ' 

Many studies have been conducted on changing attitudes 
by exposing people to material designed to effect a change in 
some direction. They have at times obtained some results, but 
by far the most successful in obtaining radical change is T. M. 
Newcomb’s extensive longitudinal study. The subjects were 
students in a college with a well-integrated liberal trend. Tlie 
many different phases of coll^ life pulled in the some direc- 
tion — a direction, in some cases, at variance with the baclc- 
ground groups (e.g., family, clique) of tlie students. As we shall 
see in a moment, the net result of the study showed that the 
greater the degree of identification with the college community 
(i.e., the actual membership group) the gi'eater was the change 
in attitude. On the other hand, the more the individual was 

’ H. H. The payoholog^ of atatiis, Anh. 1018, no. 800, p. 49. 



Effects of Reference Groups 139 

under the influence of his previous groups serving as his refer- 
ence group, the less the attitude change. (Of course, there still 
remains one problem: Why did some come to accept the actual 
membership group as their reference group, whereas others 
stuck to their previous groups? We shall touch upon this prob- 
lem in Chapter 17.) But it is a &Gt of utmost importance that 
the change or maintenance of attitudes is, to a large exteat, a 
function of the reference group to which ^e individual relates 
himself. 

Before presenting Newcomb’s impressive study in bis own 
words, we should clarify once more the chai'octerization of 
refeimice groups. The individual relates himself, in any society, 
to a group or groups; these are his reference gi'oups. Usually, 
especially in undifferentiated societies and in rural areas, one’s 
reference group is his actual group. But diverse groupings in 
modem differentiated societies make necessary a delineation 
between reference group and membership group. An individual 
in a big city actually may belong to divei'se groups— his various 
membership groups. Or circumstances may be such that he 
may live as a part of oa actual group (membership group) but 
psychologically may relate himself to a different group and 
regulate his experience and set his .aspirations accordingly. In 
such cases, his reference group may be different from his mem- 
bership group (at least at the dme). 

Attitude Dovelopmeiit os a Function of RefCTence Groups s 
The Bennington Study * 

In a membership group in which certain attitudes are ap- 
proved (i.o., held by majorities, and conspicuously so by lead- 
ers), individuals acquire the approved attitudes to the extent 
that the membersldp group (particularly as symbolized by 
leaders and dominant subgroups) serves as a positive point of 
reference. The findings of the Bennington study* seep to be 
better understood in terms of this thesis than any other. The 
distinction between membership group and refer^ce group is 

* T. . Newcomb of the Uaivenitr Michlgsa bss Irio^ Tpritten up fcha ttiijy. 
for this book. 

* T. M. Newcomb, and SooUd Chang^t New York: Drydon Fma, 194S. 



140 An Outline of Social Psychology 

a crucial one, in fact, altliou^ the original repoH did not 
make explicit use of it. 

The above statement does not imply that no reference groups 
other than the membership group are involved in attitude 
formation; as we shall see, this is distinctly not the case. Neither 
does it imply that the use of the memberahip group as reference 
gi'oup necessarily results iu adoption of the approved attitudes. 
It may also result in their rejection; hence the word “positive** 
in tlie initial statement. It is piecisely these variations in degi*ee 
and manner of relationship between reference group and mem- 
bership group which must be known in order to explain indi- 
vidual variations in attitude formation, as reported in this 
study. 

The essential facts about the Bennington membership group 
ere os follows : (1) It was small enough (about S50 women stu- 
dents) so that data could be obtained fi‘om every membei*. 
(S) It was in most respects self-sufficient; college facilities pro- 
vided not only the necessities of living and studying, but also a 
cooperative store, post office and Western Union office, beauty 
parlor, gasoline station, and a wide range of recreational oppor- 
tunities. The average student visited the four-mile-distant 
village once a week, and spent one week-end a month away 
from the college. (8) It was self-conscious and enthusiastic, in 
large part because it was new (the study was begun during the 
first year in which there was a senior cIosb) and because of the 
novelty and attractiveness of the college*s educational plan. 
(4) It was unusually active and concerned about public issues, 
largely because die faculty f^t that its educational duties in- 
cluded the familiarising of an oveish^tered student body with 
the implications of a depi'ession-torn America and a war- 
threatened world. (6) It was relatively homogeneous in respect 
to home background; tuition was very high, and the large 
majority of students come from urban, economically privileged 
families whose social attitudes wei'e conservative, 

Most individuals in this total membership group went 
through rathei‘ marked changes in attitudes toward public 
issues, as noted below. In most cases the total membership 
group served as the refei'ence group for the changing attitudes* 
But some individuals changed little or not at all in attitudes 



Effects of Reference Groups 141 

during the four years of the study; attitude persistence was in 
some of these cases a function of the membership group as refer- 
ence group and in some cases it was not. Among those who did 
change, moreover, the total membership group sometimes 
served os reference group but sometimes it did not. An over 
simple theory of ** assimilation into the community ** thus leaves 
out of account some of those whose attitudes did and some of 
those whose attitudes did not change; they remain unexplained 
exceptions. A theory which traces the impact of other reference 
groups as well as the effect of the membership group seems to 
account for all cases without exception. 

The general trend of attitude change for the total group is 
from freshman conservatism to senior non-conservatism (as the 
term was commonly applied to the issues toward which atti- 
tudes were meaaur^). During die 1036 presidential election, 
for example, 62 per cent of the freshmen and only 14 per cent 
of the juniors and seniors ** voted** for the Republican candi- 
date, 20 per cent of freshmen and 64 per cent of juniors and 
seniors for Roosevelt, and 9 per cent of freshmen as compared 
with 30 per cent of juniors and seniors for the Socialist or Com- 
munist candidates. Attitudes toward nine specific issues were 
measured during the four years of the study, and seniors were 
less conseiwative in all of them than freshmen; six of the nine 
differences are statistically reliable. These differences are best 
shown by a Likert-type scale labeled Political and Economic 
Progressivism (PEP) which dealt with such issues as uneih- 
ployment, public relief, and the rights of organized labor, which 
were made prominent by the^ew Deal. Its odd-even reliability 
was about .0, and it was given once or more during each of the 
four years of the study to virtually all students. The critical 
ratios of the differences between freshmen and juniors-seniors 
in four successive years ranged between 9.9 and 6.5; the. differ- 
ence between the average freshman and senior scores of 44 . 
individuals (the entire class that graduated in X9S9) gives a 
critical ratio of 4.3. 

As might be anticipated in such a community, ‘indmduaj 
pr$8Hg$ was aasdciat^ with non-GohserDfliism, Frequency ot 
choice as one of five students '*mo8t worthy to represent die 
College ** at an intercollegiate gathering was used as a measure 



142 An Outline of Social Psychology 

of prestige. Nominations were submitted in sealed envelopes 
by 99 per cent of all students in two successive years, with al- 
most identical results. The non-conservatism of ^ose with high 
prestige is not merely the result of the fact that juniors and 
seniors are characterized by both high prestige and non-con- 
servatism; in each class tliose who have most prestige are least 
conservative. For example, 10 freshmen receiving 2 to 4 choices 
had an avei'age PEP score of 64.9 as compared with 72.8 for 
freshmen not chosen at all (hi^ scores are conservative) ; eight 
sophomoi'es chosen 12 or more times had an average score of 
63.6 as compared with 71.S for those not chosen; the mean PEP 
score of five juniors and seniors chosen 40 or more times was 
50.4 and of the 15 chosen 12 to 89 times 57.6, as compared with 
69.0 for those not chosen. In each class, those intermediate in 
prestige are also intermediate in average PEP score. 

Such were the attitudinal dmracteristics of the total mem- 
bership group, expressed in terms of average scores. Some indi- 
viduals, however, showed these characteristics in heightened 
foim and others foiled to show them at all. An examiimtion of 
the various reference groups in relation to which attitude change 
did or did not occur, and of the ways in which they were brought 
to bear, will account for a large pai't of such attitude variance. 

Information concerning reference groups was obtained both 
directly, from the subjects themselves, and indirectly, from 
other students and from teachers. Chief among the indirect 
procedures was the obtaining of indexes of community citizen- 
ship ” by a guess-who technique. Each of 24 students, carefully 
selected to represent every cross-section and grouping of im- 
portance within the community, named tliree individuals from 
each of three classes who were reputedly most extreme in each 
of 28 characteristics related to community citizenship. The 
relationship between reputation for community identification 
and non-consei'vatism is a close one, in spite of the fact that no 
reference was made to the latter characteristic when the judges 
mode their ratings. A reputation index was computed, based 
upon tlie frequency with which individuals were named in five 
items dealing with identificatbn with the community, minus 
the number of times they were named in five other items deal- 
ing with negative community attitude. Examples of the former 



Effects of Reference Groups 143 

items are: **absorbe<l in college conunimity’ affairs/* and ^'in- 
fluenced by community expectations regarding codes, stand- 
aids, etc.**; examples of the latter are: “indifferent to activities 
of student committees/* and “resistant to community expecta- 
tions regarding codes, standards, etc.** The mean senior PEP 
score of 15 individuals Tvhose index was + 15 or more was 54.4; 
of 63 whose index was -f 4 to — 4, 65.8; and of ten whose index 
was - 15 or leas, 68.2. 

To have the reputation of identifying oneself with the com- 
munity is not the same thing, however, as to identify the com- 
munity os a reference group for a specific purpose — e.g,, in 
this case, os a point of reference for attitudes toward public 
issues. In short, the leputatidn index is informative as to de- 
gree and direction of tendency to use the total membership 
group as a general reference group, but not necessarily as a 
group to which social attitudes are referred. For this purpose 
information was obtained directly from students. 

Informal investigation had shown that whereas most stu- 
dents were aware of the xnarhed freshman-to-senior trend away 
from conseiwatism, a few (particularly among the conaerva' 
tivea) had little or no awareness of it. Obviously; those not 
aware of the dominant community trend could not be using the 
community as a reference group for an attitude. (It does not 
follow, of course, that all those who are aware of it are neces- 
sarily using the <coinmuniCy as reference group.) A simpfe 
measure of awareness was therefore devised, ■ Subjects were 
ashed to respond in two ways to a number of- attitude state- 
ments taken from the PEP scale: first, to indicate. agreement 
or disagreement (for example, with the statement: “The bud- 
get should be balanced before the government spends any 
mon^ on social security**); and second, to estimate what per- 
centage of freshmen, juniors and seniors, and' fooulby would 
agree with the statement. From these responses was computed' 
an index of divergence (of own attitude) from the estimated 
majority of juniors and seniors. Thus a positive index on the 
port of a senior indicates the degree to which her own respoosi^ 
are more conservative than thc^e of her classmates, and a nega- 
tive index the degree to which they are less conservative. Those 
seniors whose divergence index more or less faithfully , reflects 



144 An Outline of Social Psychology 

the true difference between own and class attitude may (or may 
not) be using the class as an attitude reference group; those 
whose divergence indexes represent an exaggei’ated or mini~ 
mized version of the true relationship between own and class 
attitude are clearly not using the class as an attitude reference 
gi’oup, or if so» only in a ffetitious sense. (Por present purposes 
the junior<senior gi'oup may be taken as representative of the 
entire student bo^, since it is the group which “ sets the tone ” 
of the total membership group.) 

These data were supplemented by direct information ob- 
tained in interviews with seniors in three consecutive classes, 
just prior to graduation. Questions were asked about resem- 
blance between own attitudes and those of class majorities and 
leaders, about parents' attitudes and own resemblance to them, 
about any alleged ** social pressure to become liberal,'* about 
probable reaction if the dominant college influence had been 
conservative instead of liberal, etc. Abundant information was 
also available from the college Personnel Office and from the 
college psychiatrist. It was not possible to combine all of these 
soui'ces of information into intensive studies of each individual, 
but complete data were assembled for (roughly) the moat con- 
servative and least conservative sixths of tlu'ee consecutive 
graduating classes. The S4 non-conservative and 19 conserva- 
tive seniors thus selected for intensive study were classified 
according to their indexes of conservative divei'gence and of 
community reputation. Thus eight sets of seniors were identi- 
fied, all individuals within each set having in common similar 
attitude scores, simUBr reputations for community identificBr 
tion, and similar degrees of awareness (based upon divergence 
index) of own attitude position relative to classmates. The fol- 
lowing descriptions of these eight sets of seniors will show that 
there was a characteristic pattern of i*elationship between mem- 
bership group and reference group within each of the sets. 

1. ConitervedweSf reputedly negoHvisHc, aware of their own 
relative oonservatiafn. Pour of the five are considered stubborn or 
resistant by teachers (all five, by student judges). Three have 
prestige scores of 0, scores of the other two being about average 
for their class. Pour of the five are considered by teachers or 
psychiati'ist, or by both, to be overdependent upon one or botli 



EflFects of Reference Groups 145 

parents. All of the four who were interviewed described {k&ir 
major hopes, on entering coU^C) in terms of social rather Hian 
academio prestige; all four felt that tliey had been defeated in 
this aim. Tlie following verbatim quotations are illustrative: 

Probably the feeling that (my isstructore) dida*t accept me 
led me to reject their opinions.** (She esUmates classmates as 
being only moderately leas conservative than herself, but 
faculty as much less so.) 

GS3: “I wouldn’t care to he intimate with those so-called liberal 
student leaders.” (She daims io be sait^ed with a mall group of 
friends. She is chosen as friend, in a socdometric questionnaire 
responded to by all students, only twice, and reciprocates both 
choices; both ore conservative students.) 

F3S: “I wanted to disagree with all the noisy liberals, hut I was 
afraid and I couldn’t, do I buiU up a waU inside me against idiai 
they said. 1 found 1 ootddnH oompsts^ so I decided io sHoh io my 
father^s ideas. For ai least hoo years Tw been insulaied againet ail 
aoUege influmees** (She is chosen but once as a friend, and does 
not reciprocate that choice.) 

QIO: (who rather early concluded that she had no chance of social 
success in college) ” It hurt me at first, but now I don’t give a 
damn. The things I really care ahotd are piosUy outside the ^kge, 

1 think radicalism symbolizes the college for me more than any- 
thing else.” (Needless to say,, she has no use for radicals.) 

For these four individuals (and probably lor the fifth also) the 
community serves as reference group in a negative sense, and the 
home-and-family group in a positive sense. Thus their con- 
servatism is dually xeinfoi'ced. 

% Qmsmaiives, reputedly negoHvisfiic, untmare of ikdr ow» 
relative oonservatism. All five are described by teachers, as well 
as by Gueas-Who judges, to be stubborn or r^istant. Four have 
prestige scores of 0, and the fifth a less than average 'score. 
Each reciprocated just one friendship. choice. Four are consid- 
ered insecure in social relationships, and all five are regarded as 
extremely dependent upon parents. In interviews four, describe 
with considerable intensity, and the fifth with more moderation, 
pre-college expeiimices of rebuff, ostracism, or isolation, and all 
deaci'ibe their hopes, on entermg college, in terms of making 
friends ox avoiding rebuff rather than in t^ms of seeking pres- 



146 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tige. All five felt that their (rather modest) aims had met with 
good success. Each of the five denies building up any resistance 
to the acceptance of liberal opinions (but two add that they 
would have resented any such pressure, if felt). Three believe 
that only small, special groups in the college have such opin- 
ions, while the other two describe themselves as just going their 
own way, ^pa^ng no aUenHon to anything hut their own little dreles 
and their ooUege worh, T 3 rpical quotations follow: 

Q47: **rm a perfect middle-of-the-roader, neither enthusiast nor 
critic. I’d accept anything if they juat let mo alone , . . I’ve 
made all the friends I want.” (Oi^ one of her friendship 
choices is reciprocated.) 

Q19: ** In high achool I waa akoaya thought of aa rny yaretda* daughter, 
I never felt really accepted for myself ... I wanted to make my 
own way here, socially, but independence from my family has 
never asserted itself in other ways.” (According to Guess-Who 
ratings, she is highly resistant to faculty authority.) 
hlS: IVhai I most wanted was to get over being a scored bimny . . . 
I always resent doing the respectable thing just because It’s the 
thing to do, but I didn’t realize I was so different, politicany, 
from loy deasmates. At least I agree with the few people I ever 
talk to about such matters.” (Sodometric responses place her 
in a small, conservative group.) 

Q81: **I hated practically all my s^ool life' before coming here. I 
had the perfect inferiority complex, and I pulled out of school 
social life — out of fear. I didn’t intend to repeat that mistake 
here. . . . I’ve just begun to be successful in winning friendships, 
and I've been blissfully happy here.” (She is described by 
teachers as ” patholo(pcally belligerent”; she receive more 
than the average number of friendship choices, but reciprocates 
only one of them.) 

Eor these hve individuals, who are negativistic in the sense of 
being neor-isolates rather than rebels, the community does not 
serve as reference group for public attitudes. To some extent, 
their small friendship groups serve in this capacity, but in the 
main they still refer such areas of their lives to the home-and- 
family group. They are too absorbed in their own pm’suits to 
use the total membei'ship group as a reference group for most 
other purposes, too. 

3. Conservaiiveat not reputedly TiegatmsHct aware of their oum 



Effects of Reference Graups 147 

rdaUfiS oonsertftdisM. Three of the five are described by teachers 
as “cooperative” and “eager,” and none os stubborn or resis- 
tant. Four ai'e above average in prestige. Four are considered 
by teachers or by Guess- Who raters, or both, to retain very 
close parental ties. All four who were interviewed had more or 
less definite ambitions for leadership on coming to college, and 
all felt that they had been relatively successful— though, in the 
words of one of them, none ever attained the “ really top-notch 
positions.” All four are aware of conflict between parents and 
college coznmimity in respect to public attitudes, and all quite 
consciously decided to “stilng along” with parents, feelmg self- 
confident of holding their own in college in spite of being atypi- 
cal in this respect. Sample quotations follow: 

Q78: “ Pm dll my mcdher htti in ihe toorld. liU torardered inieUetduaUy 
superior Here to he Uheral or radical. This puis ms on iks d^enswe, 
as I refuse to consider zny mother beneath me intellectually, as 
so many other students do. Apart from this, I have loved eveiy 
aspect of college life.” (A popular girl, many of whose friends 
are among the non-<!onservative college leaders.) 

Q78 : “ Pvs corns to realuis how much my mother's happiness depends on 
tns, and ihe best way I can hip her is 1o do Hvings wWt her at home 
as efim as I can. This has resulted in my not getting the feel of 
the college in certain ways, and I know my general chnse^atisiri 
is one of those ways. But it has not been important enough to 
me to make me feel ^Ucularly left out. If you're genuine and 
inoffensive about your opinions, no one reslly minds here if you 
remain conservative.” (Another popular girl, whose friends were 
found among many groups.) 

r82: ** Family affomsi faculty has Uen my sirug^e hers. As soon ss I 
felt retd^ secure here 1 decided not to let the college atmosphere 
affect me too much. Every time I've tried to rebel against my 
family I’ve found out how terribly wrong l.am, and so Fve 
naturally kept to my parents’ attitudes.” (While not partieu- 
larly popular, she shows no bitterness and cOi^derable satis- 
faction over her college experience.) - 
Q35: “Tve been aware of a protective shell agamst radical ideas. 
When 1 found several of my. best friends getting ^at way, I 
either hod to go elong or just shut out that area entir^J 1 
couldn't respect myself if 1 had changed my opinions just tor 
that reason, and so I almost deliberately lost interest^really, 

, if was ouf qffsar of losing my friends*^ (A veary popular girl, 



148 An Outline of Social Psychology 

with no trace of bitterness, who is not considered too dependent 
upon parents.) 

For these five the total membership group does not serve as 
reference group in respect to public attitudes, but does so serve 
for most other pmposes. At some stage in their college careers 
the conflict between college community and home and family 
as reference group for public attitudes was resolved iu favor of 
the latter. 

4. ConservaiiiieSi not reputedly negativiaiic^ not aware qf iJieir 
own relative conaerdaUsm, All four are consistently described by 
teachei's as conscientious and cooperative; tliree are considered 
overdocile and uncritical of authority. All are characterized by 
feelings of inferiority. All are low in prestige, two receiving 
scoi*e8 of 0; all are low in frlezulship choices, but reciprocate 
most of these few choices. Two are described as in conflict about 
parental authority, and two as dependent and contented. All 
four recall considerable anxiety as to whether they would fit 
into the college community; all feel that they have succeeded 
better than they had expected. Sample statements from inter- 
views follow: 

t)S2: “I’d like to think like the college leaders, but I'm not bold 
enough and 1 don't know enough. So the college trend means 
little to me; I didn't even realize how much more conservative I 
am than the others. J gueas my family ivfiumoe has been strong 
enough to counterbalance the oofhege influence** (This girl was 
given to severe emotional upsets, and according to personnel 
records, felt “ alone and helpless emept when with her parents.") 
hll&i “ It isn’t that I’ve been resisting any pressure to become liberal. 
The influences here didn’t matter enough to resist, 1 guess. AU 
diat^s really imporiemt that has happened to me oocurred outside of 
coUegBy and so 1 never became very susceptible to college in- 
fluences." {FoUomng her engagement to be marriedf in her second 
year, she had ** practically r^red** from oommumiy life.) 

Q68: "If I’d had more time here I’d probably have caught on to the 
liberal drift here. But I’ve been horribly busy maldng money 
and trying to keep my college work up. Politics and that sort qf 
thing Vve always assoMed with home instead oftoith ike collegef* 
(A “town girl " of working-class parentage.) 

Q70 : “ Most juniors and seniors, if they really get escited about their 
work, forget about auok community mthwiaame ae sending iele^ 



Effects of Reference Groups 149 

grama to Congressman. It was so important to me to be accepted, 
1 mean intellectually, that I naturally eame to identify myae\f in 
every way with ike group which gave me (kia sort cf inteUeelual 
aaUafaeHon.** (One of a amall group of science majors, nearly all 
conservative, who professed no interests other than science and 
who were highly selfnSufBcient socially.) 

For none of the four was the total membership group a reference 
group for public attitudes. Unlike the non-negatiyistic consei'va- 
tives who are aware of their r^ative conservatism, they refer 
to the total membership group for few if any other purposes. 
Like the negativistic conservatives who are unaware of their 
relative conservatism, their reference groups for public atti- 
tudes are almost exclusively those related to home and family. 

5. Non-conaervativeat reputedly communiiy’ideni^edt aware of 
iheir relative non-coTuenaiisTn,. Each of the seven is considered 
highly independent by teachers, particularly in intellectual 
activities; ell but one are I'eferred to as meticulous, perfection- 
ist, or overconscientious. Four ai‘e veiy high in prestige, two 
high, and one average; all are ** good group members,*’ and aU 
but one a “leader.” None is considered overdependent upon 
parents. All have come to an imderstanding with parents con- 
ceniing their “ liberal ** views; five have “ agreed to differ,” and 
the other two describe one or both parents, as 'Very liberal.” 
All take tlieir public attitudes seriously) in most cases express- 
ing the feeling that they have bled and died to achieve them. 
Interview exempts follow: 

B7S: “ I bend in the direoHon tf community eap^oHon'-^biioBt m6re 
than I wont to. I constantly have to check myself to be sure it*S 
real self-conviction and not just social respect.” (An outstanding > 
and deeply respected leader.) 

M49! “My fomi^ has always been liberal, but the influences here 
made me go further, and for a while I was pretty far left. Now 
I’m pretty much in agreement with my family again, but it’s 
my own and it means s lot. It wouldn't be easy for me to have 
friends who are very conservative.” (Hra friendship choices are 
exclusively given to non-conservatives.) 

E7S: “I had been allowed so much independence by my parents that 
I needed desperately to identify myself with an institution wi^ 
which I could conform conscientiously. Bennington was perfect. 

I drank up everything the college had to offer, including social 



150 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

attitudes, though not uncritically. Tve become acUve in radical 
groups and constructively critic^ of them/* (Both during and 
^ter college she worked with CIO unions.) 

HSd: I accepted liberal attitudes here because I had always seoTBily 
felt Uiat my family waa narrow and iniolsrani, and beoause such 
attitudes had 'prestige value. It was all part of my generally ex- 
panding personality — I had never really been part of anything 
before. 1 don’t accept things without examining things, however, 
and I was sure 1 meant it b^ore I dianged.” (One of those -who 
has “ agreed to differ ** with parents.) 

04)3: “ It didn't take me long to see that liberal attitudes had pres- 
tige value. But oU the time 1 felt inwardly superior to persona 
who want public acclaim. Once I had arrived at a feding of 
personal security, I could see that it wasn’t important — it 
wasn’t enough. So many people have no security at all. I became 
liberal at first because of iia prestige value. 1 remain so because 
the problems around which my liberalism centers ore important. 
yVhat I want now is to be effective in solving the problems.” 
(Another conspicuous leader, active in and out of college in 
liberal movements.) 

The total membership clearly serves as reference group for 
these individuals’ changing attitudes, but by no means ns the 
only one. For those whose parents are coxiservative> poi'ents 
represent a negative reference group, from whom emancipation 
was gained via liberal attitudes. And for sevei’al of them tiie 
college community served as a bridge to outside liberal groups 
as points of reference. 

6 . Nonroonsmativest reputedly commuriiiy^dentified, not aware 
of their <noit relative 'iion-conservaiism. The word "enthusiastic*’ 
appears constantly in the records of each of these six. All 01*6 
considered eager, ambitious, hard-'Worldng, and anxious to 
please. Four are very high in prestige, the other two about 
average. None is considered ovordependent upon parents, and 
only two are known to have suffered any particulai* conflict in 
achieving emancipation. Each one come to college with am- 
bitions for leadership, and each professes extreme satisfaction 
with her college experience. Sample quotations follow: 

Qx: ” Every influence I felt tended to push me in the liberal direc- 
tion: my under-dog complex, my need to be independent of my 
pareniSi and my amewusness to be a leader here.** 



Effects of Reference Groups 151 

Q61: **J. met a whole body of new information Here; 1 took a deep 
breath and plunged. 'When I talked about it at home my family 
began to treat me aa if I had an adult mind. Then ioo, my nem 
opinions gaoe me ifte repiUation here of bmng opmminded and 
capable of change. 1 think I could have got really radical but I 
found it wasn't the way to get prestige here/’ (She judges most 
of her dassmates to be as nou'conservative as herself.) 

Q72: “ I take everything hard, and so of course I reacted hard to ell 
the attitudes 1 found here. I'bi 100% enthusiastic about Ben- 
nington, and that includes liberalism (but not radicalism, 
though I used to think so). Now 1 know that you can't be an 
extremiai if you’re reaUy devoted to an Miriifei/ion, whether it's a 
labor union or a college." (A conspicuous leader who, like most 
of the others in this set of aixt fudges elassmates to be onlyeUghUy 
more eonsemiive than hmelf.) 

Q63 : ** I came to college to get amy from my family t who never had any 
respect for my mind. Becoming radical meant thinking for 
myself and, figuratively, thumbing my nose at my family. It aiso 
meant inUXLedud ideniification with AefaouUy and students that 
I most wanted to he (She has always fdt oppressed by 
parental resectability and aibling achievementa.) 

Q67 : " It's very simple. / was so anxious to be aocepted that I aocepted 
the oomplanion of the community Jme. I just couldn't 

stand out against the crowd unless I had many friends and 
strong support." (Not a lead^, but many close hiends among 
leaders and non-conservatives.) 

For these sisr, like the precedii^ seven, the membership group 
serves as reference group for public affairs. They differ &om the 
preceding seven chiefly in. that they are less siue of themselyes 
and are careful *'not to go too far." Hence they tend to repudi- 
ate radicalism," and to judge classmates as pnly'slightly less 
consei'vative than themselves. 

7. fV'ph-consereafitffls, not reputedly cornmmity-idfntifle^t amre 
of own relative rion^conservaiiam. Each of the six is described as 
highly independent, and critical-ininded. Four are consistently 
reported as intellectually outstanding, and the. other two occa- 
sionally so. All describe their ambitions on coming to college in 
intellectual rather than in social terms. Four of the ffve who 
were interviewed stated that in a cons^ative college ' they 
would be " even more radical than here.” Two are slightly above ' 
average in prestige, two below aywage, and two have zero 



162 An Outline of Social Psychology 

scores. Three have goiie throtigh rather severe batUes in the 
process of casting off what they regard as parental shackles; 
none is considered overdependent upon parents. Sample inter- 
view excerpts follow: 

Q7 ! ** AU my life Vve reienUd the protecHon qf gomneeaea and parents. 
What X most wanted here was the intellectual approval of 
teachers and the more advanced students. Then I found you 
can't be reactionary and be intellectually respectable." (Her 
traits of independence became more marked as she achieved 
academic distinction.) 

QSl: " I simply got filled with new ideas here) and the only possible 
formulation of all of them was to adopt a radical approach. I 
can’t 866 my own position in the toorld tn any other terms. The 
easy aupeificialiiy mih iohick ao many preaHge-hounda here get 
*Uberal* onlyfor^ me to think it out more mienaely** (A highly 
gifted girl, considered ratha^ aloof.) 

CSS: “1 started rebelling agawsi my pret^ aivffy family before I earns 
to college. I felt apart from fie^bmen here) because I was older. 
Then I caught on to faculty attempts to undermine prejudice. 
I took sides with the faculty immediately) against the immature 
freshmen. 1 crusaded about ^ It provided just what I needed by 
way qf family rebeUiont and bolstered up my self><;onfideDce) 
too." (A very bright girh regarded as sharp tongued and a bit 
haughty.) 

JSd: " Vm easily influenced by people whom I respect, and the people 
who rescued me when I was down and out, intellectually, gave 
me a radical intellectual approach; they included both teachers 
and advanced students. Vm rujt rebelling against anything. I'm 
just doing what I had to do to stand on my own feet inteUectu- 
oUy.” (Her academic work was poor os a freshman, but gradu- 
ally became oiitatandiog.) 

For these six students it is not the total membership group, but 
dominant subgroups (faculty, advanced students), which at 
first served as positive refei’ence groups, and for many of them 
the home group served as a negative point of refei’ence. Later, 
they developed extra-college reference groups (left-wing writ- 
ers, etc.). In a secondary sense, however, the total membership 
group served as a negative point of reference — ^i.e., they re- 
garded their non-conservatism as a moi'k of pei'sonal superiority. 

8. N>On^oonaervaHves not reputedly oommuniiy-ideniifiedy not 



Effects of Reference Groups 153 

awa/re of own rolaUve Tum-conaeroainsm, Each of the five is con- 
sidered hard-working, eager and enthuaiaatic but (especially 
during the first year or two) unsure of herself and too dependent 
upon instructors. They are "good citizens," but in a distinctly 
retiring way, Two are above average in prestige, and the other 
three much below average. ]^^one of the five is considered over- 
d^endent upon parents; two are Imown to have experienced a 
good deal of conflict in emancipating themselves. All regard 
themselves as "pretty average persona,” with strong desire to 
conform; they desci’ibe their ambitions in terms of social ac- 
ceptance instead of social or intellectual prestige. Sample ex- 
cerpts follow: 

El^: " Social icawnty is the focus of U all toUh me. I became steadily 
leas conservative as long es I was needing to gain tn personal 
seeurityt loift vnih studenU and with faouliy. I developed some 
resentment against a few extreme radicals who don't reaily 
represent the college viewpoint, and that's why I changed my 
attitudes so for and no further.** (A girl with a small personal 
following, otherwise not especially popular.) 

D5S : ** Of course ikere*8 social fresaure here to giee up your conservatism. 
Fm glad of it, because for me this beciune the vehviefoT achieving 
ind^te^meefrm my family. So changing my attitudes has gone 
hand in hand with two very important (kings: establishing m/y 
own independence and at the earns time becoming a part ^ the 
eoUege organism,” (She attnbutes the fact that her social atti- 
tudes changed, while th(^ of younger sister, also at the 
college, did not, to the fact that she had greater need both of 
family independence and of group support.) 

Q0: "X was ripe for developing liber^ or even radical opinions be- 
cause so many of my friends at home were doing the same thing. 
So it was really wonderful that I could agree with allihe people 
1 respected here and the same time move in the direction that 
my home friends were going.** (A girl characterized by consider- 
able personal instability at first, but showing marlmd improve- 
' ment.) 

Qy: " I think my change of opinions has given me inielteeiudl and • 
social se^-reepeot at the sotrs time. 1 u^ to be too timid for 
words, and I never hod an idea of my own. As I gradually be- 
came more successful in my work and made more friends, I 
came to feel that it didn't matter so much whether I agreed 
with my parents. It’s idl part of the feeling that 1 really belong 



154 An Outline of Sodal Psychology 

here.'* (Much other evidence confirms this; she was lonely and 

pathetic at first, but really belonged later.) 

These five provide the exemple par exoellenoe of individuals 
who came to identify themselves with *'the community’* and 
whose attitudes changed pari passu with the growing sense of 
identity. Homeland-family groups served as supplementary 
points of referencCf either positive or negative. To varying de- 
grees, subgroups within the community served as focal points 
of reference. But, because of iheir rteed to be aocepted, it was 
primarUy the membership group as suoft which served as reference 
group for these jive. 

Summary 

In this community, as presumably in most others, all indi- 
viduals belong to the total member^p group, but such mem- 
bership is not necessarily a point of reference for eveiy form of 
social adaptation, e.g., for acquiring attitudes toward public 
issues. Such attitudeSi however^ are not acquired in a sooial vac- 
uum. Their acquisition is a furicHon of relating oneself io some 
group or groups, positively or negatively, lu many cases (perhaps 
in all) the referring of social attitudes to one group negativdy 
leads to referring them to another group positively, or vice 
versa, so that tlie attitudes are dually reinforced. 

An individual is, of course, ** typic^ *’ in respect to attitudes 
if the total membeiahip group serves as a positive point of refer- 
ence for that puipose, but" typicality ” may also result from the 
use of other reference groups. It does not follow from the fact 
that an individual is "atypical” that the membership group 
does not serve for reference puzposes; it may serve as negative 
reference group. Even if the membership group does not serve 
as reference group at all (as in the ease of conservatives in this 
community who ore unaware of the general freshman-to-senior 
trend), it cannot be concluded that attitude development is not 
a function of belonging to the total membership group. The 
unawareness of such in^viduab is itself a resultant adaptation 
of particular individuals to a particular membership group. 
T^e fact that such individuals continue to refer attitudes 
toward public issues primarily to bome-and-fomily groups is. 



155 


Effects of Reference Groups 

in part at least, a result of the kind of community in which they 
have membership. 

In short, the Bennington findings seem to support the thesis 
that, in a community characterized by certain approved atti* 
tudes, the individual's attitude development is a function of the 
way in which he relates himself both to the total membership 
group and to reference group or groups. 



7 . 

The Formation qf Group 
Standards or Norms 


9 


EVERT SOCIAL 6R0TTF« SMALL OR LARQB^ WITH SOME DEGREE 
o{ m>group and out-gi*oup delineation, has an organization 
defining the roles (statuses and functions) of individual mem- 
bers, has attitudes toward persons in the in-group and toward 
those in out-gi'oups, and requires certain confoimities in action 
and aspiration from the individuals who belong. All this is de- 
termined or regulated by a set of standards or norms of the 
group. In short, wherever we see a group which is organized 
to some degree, we see a set of norms shaping and regulating 
the attitudes and behavior of the members and of the gi’oup 
itself. We shall deal with the effects of group norms on ex- 
perience and behavior in the next chapters. 

In social groups which are already organized (such os family, 
church, school, union), the new member becomes a good mem- 
ber by assimilating the aheady existing stondaids or norms of 
the group. (This, of course, does not preclude the possibility 
that he may later effectively participate in changing them.) 

But when individuals unite to act together in a situation 
brought about by common motives, interests, or deprivations, 
or by some turn of events, ^e interaction tends to produce 
some sort of new group formation whicli may be temporary 
or lasting, depending on the sitiuition. In. the process of group 
formation certain noims are standardized as the common 
property of the group, henceforth prescribing relative roles 
for the individual members at least in matters which have been 
of concern in group interaction. Children’s play groups, ado- 
lescent cliques, gangs in large cities, and formations of a group 
of individuals in social isolation, ore concrete illustrations of the 
point. In the preceding two chapt^ we have given some ex- 

ise 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 157 

amples of such spontaneous group formations, and in the last 
part of this chapter we shall present a few more illustrations. 

In shoi't, thei'e is on invariable tendency for group inteiv 
action to give rise to a set of standoi'ds or norms iti matters 
that involve the group. Once such a set of standuds or norms 
arises, it becomes the common property of the group. Hence- 
forth it sets the tempo, the characteristic features of the group 
in action, loyalty, and other aspects of conformity. 

Many sociologists have recognized this fact and theorized 
about it. It was argued in some sociological accounts that the 
behavior of groups (with their new qualities, tlieir supra- 
individual organizational features, and new products) was 
different from the behavior of the individuals and, hence, that 
group action and group quality were governed by altogether 
diffei'ent, supra-psychologicol principles. 

Major reseat^ developments during the last decade or so 
did much to break down this conception of a dichotomy in the 
principles governing individual behavior and group behavior. 
We have seen representative samples of the converging lines 
of rosearch in the last two chapters. 

It is becoming a recognized fact that the emergence of dif- 
ferent or new quolities'-structural transfomations — occurs 
not only on the level of human group interaction, but also on all 
levels of physical, biological, and historical events. In particular 
the woric or Gestalt psychologists on pezoeption and in other 
fidds has helped to establish the fact of structural properties 
of wholes, intei'dependence of parts, qualitative transformations 
witli the coming of new factors into the situation. For eiuunple, 
it has been shown that the qualitatively distinct character of 
perception of form, melody, rhythm, meaning, is not derived 
from the distinct properties of the parts in isolation, but that 
(on the contrary) the parts derive their qualiiy from their 
functional membership in the whole. The delineation ond deter- 
mination of figure-ground properties,^ transposition effects' in 
melody, etc., all go to establl^ this conclusion.* In short, the 
emergent qualities and products that unm^takably appear in 

I For an example, see pp. Z14 f. 

* For autharitatlve trea^nta the aubjeet see, for example, W. Ei&Ier, OuUdi 
Psyokf^gp, New York: LlWlght, 1920; and Wertbeimer, in W< O. Bllia (ed.), 
A Sounehook of QtU^ Payokaloffift New Y^k: flarcourt, Brace, 1688. 



158 An Ouiline of Social Psychology 

group situations ore embedded in the basic psychology of the 
individual. 

Anothei’ important general fact embedded in the basic psy- 
chology of the individual in any situation (individual or group, 
laboratory or everyday life) is that reactions take place within 
reference frames in which certain reference points stand out. 
The concept of reference frame is not an abstract notion. It 
simply designates the welMmown fact that reaction to stimulus 
is not a discrete affair, peculiar to this or that factor, but that 
it is the outcome of the functional interdependence of all 
factors (internal and external) operative at a given moment. 
The special mention of reference points in such a functional 
interdependent whole is made because they are outstanding 
features determining or modifying the general character of the 
frame. 

For example, when we judge distances, magnitudes, weiglits, 
etc.) wc do so within certain reference frames or scales. A dis- 
tance is far or near, a magnitude is big or small, a weight is 
heavy or light, with aU gradations between the limiting points, 
according to the frames or scales we are using or pre /oread to 
use (usually by the compeUingness of the objective situation) 
at the given moment. These are some simple examples of refer- 
ence frames (scales). Certain salient, compeUing features, end 
points, standards, etc., in the situation determine or modify 
the frame or scale. The experiences of fai’, near, late, early, for 
example, have hardly any meaning without reference to some 
consciously or unconsciously operating end points. These are 
some samples of reference points (or anchoring points). It has 
been shown time and again in the laboratory that with the 
shifts of reference points, experiences in question are cor- 
respondingly altered. 

A few concrete illustrations from everyday life may make the 
point more real. A ten-story building around Rockef^ei' Center 
In New York seems to be a dwarfs a similar building in a smail 
town may give a towering impression. To a peasant in Asia, 
$500 income a year Is a sizable fortune, whereas to a vacation- 
ing banker in a large concern, it is nothing. It has been found 
by actual observation that what is consistently heavy to a 
professor, who is not used to lifting weights, is not so heavy to 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 159 

a person who lifts them in his daily work. These examples can 
be multiplied almost indefinitely.' 

The “organization* ** of experience in the direction of definite 
structui'ea seems to be a primary psychological pmdple 
(Kohler). Whether or not thei'e already are defimte structures 
and definite standards — outstanding features aa reference 
(anchoring) points in the external situation — ^individuals form 
their reference frames and points in their reaction to^ new 
situations. 

In cases in which the obj^ve stimulus situation is well 
sti'uctured) the psychological reference frames and points are 
compellingly determined by it in some way. The reaction (per- 
ceptual, judgmental, etc.) of the individual is regulated by 
some reference frame or points. But in unstructured (“indeter- 
minate,** vague, ill-defined) situations, internal and internal- 
ized factors (motives, volu^, norms, group pressure, prestige, 
etc.) act as major factors to determine or dter the reaction. If, 
for example, a formal standard for judging a graduated series 
of stimuli (e.g., magnitudes, weights, etc.) is lacking, end points 
may be (in met are, as the evidence shows) chosen os major 
reference (anchoring) points in relation- to which other- stimuli 
in the ^ies ore judged. A vague and ill-defined dtuatioh be-- 
comes a plastic canvas on which our preoccupations, motives, 
and stereotyped attitudes block in the picture. In the findings 
of investigators using such vague stimulus material (e.g., i^ 
blots)) we find innumerable demonstrations of this funda- > 
mental psychological tendency. , The work of Luchins ' and 
others ^ows that the greater the vagueness of the stimuliLS 
field, the greater the influence of internal (e.g., motives) and 
internalized factors (social attitudes, identifications, ego- 
involvements, etc.) os well as the efiects of su^estion, prestige, 
social pressiu'e, propaganda. This conclusion is not a discovaiy 
of academic paychologistd. Fishing in muddy waters has almost 

* For a fuller treatment and presentation of evidence on lefmnca £»mei and 
pointa. aee M. fiherif, Th» Pty^olegif Soefof Vorm, Ne\r York: Harper,' lOSC. 
chap. SjM.Sherlf and H.Ciiitril, 

8O6-SI4; 

* k. S« Luchins. On agreement with oaother's judsment, /. Ahnt & Soo, Pif/chn^u 

1014, 80, 07-111: A. S. Luchins, Social influences on perceptions of oomplez drawing;^ 
J. 5oo. Piiwftol., low, 81, 857-878; : 



160 An Outline of Social Psychology 

always been a £ourishing trade for politician and demagogue. 
Also, the unstable, fluid, and critical situations which usually 
occur as a consequence of depression, mass deprivation, and 
misery have been fertile ground for the revolutionary. A treat- 
ment of this problem will be our main concern in Chapter 16. 

On the basis of this sketchy summary of some basic psychologi- 
cal facts, we can proceed to the specific problem of the chaptei-, 
It is in unstable conditions, in. situations of group interaction 
which lack an established organization and established norms, 
that new group structures and new standards or norms arise. A 
dear-cut demonstration of this tendency will help to show the 
basic psychological process involved in the rise of group norms, 
and their effect on the individual participating member once 
they are adopted by him. In this demonstration our concern is 
with the main process— not with its manifestation in any con- 
crete issue. 

Before showing how the process is built up in the individual 
— alone and in group situations— clarification of one point is 
necessai'y. A situation may be unstructured or vogue in general, 
or in some aspect. If the particular aspect is one of the major 
concerns of the group in question, it constitutes a plastic com- 
ponent which may be shaped, crystallized, and standoidized 
in this or that way. A good illustration of this is reported by 
Ernie Pyle in Stfe la Your War. When the first convoys left 
England at the time the North Aii'ican offensive was launched 
against Hitler, the men on boei*d were kept in the dork as to 
the deatination of their journey. They knew they were going 
into battle service, because other men sailing with them and 
objects on the boats were clear-cut indications. But the dead- 
nation of their convoy was a matter of conjecture for tliem. 
Consequently rumors sprang up which the men come to regard 
as true until they were contradicted by facts and other rumors. 
Many men shu^ these rumors, at least for a shoi*t time. 
One officer in the convoy even experimented with a rumor as to 
the deatination, and it came back to him as be planted it after 
it went around to other men cm board. Ernie Pyle says: 

Of ell the spots on earth where nimors nm wild, I think a convoy 
trooper must lead, hands down. Scores of nimors a day floated about 
the ship. We got so we believed them all, or didn^t brieve any. 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 161 

It wfts rumored we would rendezvous with a big convoy from 
America; that an aircraft carrier had joined us; that we'd hit Gibraltar 
in six hours, twenty-four hours, two days; that the ship behind us was 
the West Point, the Mount Vernon, the Monterey; that we were eighty 
miles off Portugal, and two hundred miles off Bermuda. None of these 
turned out to be true. 

Th rufTiormongering got eo rife (kat one qffioer made up a rumor to 
the ^ect that we were going to Casahlanea, and Umed it to see just how 
long it would take to eneirele the aUp, It oame haek to Mm, as ooldfaet 
right from the bridge, in just half an hour} 

Hypothesis to Be Tested 

We have seen that if a reference point is lacking in the ex- 
ternal field of stimulation, it is established inteiimlly, as the 
temporal sequence of presentation of stimuli goes on. 

Accordingly we raise the problem: What will an individual 
do when he is placed in an objectively unstable situation in 
which all basis of comparison, as far as the external field of 
stimulation is concerned, is absent? In other words, w^t will 
he do when the external frame of reference is eliminated, so 
far os the aspect in which we are interested is couched? Will 
he give a hodgepodge of erratic judgments? Or will he establish 
a |)oint of re^ence of his own? Consistent results in this situ- 
ation may be taken as the index of a subjectively evolved frame 
of reference. 

We must first study the tendency of the individual, in order 
to do away with the dualism between ^'individual psychology " 
and “social psychology.” In this way we con determine the 
differences between individual responses in the individual 
situation and in the group situation. 

Coming to the social level we can push our problem further. 
What will a group of people do in the same unstable situation? 
Will the different individuals in the group give a hodgepodge 
of judgments? Or will they establish a collective frame of 
reference? If so, of what sort? If every person establishes a, 
norm, will it be his own and different from the norms of others 
in the group? Or will there be established a common norm 

■ Ernie Pyle, Een I* Your Wdr, New York: The World Fubllahing ComipaiWi' 1940; 
Henry Iblt 1049, pp. 7*4 (italics mim}. 



lea An Outline of Social Psychology 

peculiar to the particular group situation and dependent upon 
the presence of these individuals and their influence upon one 
another? If they in time come to perceive the uncertain and 
unstable situation which they face in common in such a way as 
to give it some sort of order, if they establish a reference frame 
and point among themselvesj and if this frame of reference is 
peculiar to tiiie group, then toe iruxy say that this is at least ike 
yroiotype of the psychological process involved in IheformaiMn of a 
iiomi in a group. 

The Autokinetio Effect, Its Possibilities for Our Problem 

With these considerations clearly in mind, our first task will 
be to find objectively unstable situations that will permit 
themselves to be structured in several ways, depending on the 
character of the subjectively established reference points. 
From among other possible experimental situations that could 
be used to test our hypothesis, we chose to use autokinesis in 
this particular series of experiments. 

The conditions that produce the autokinetic effect afford an 
excellent experimental situation. We can easily get the auto- 
kinetic effect. In complete darkness, os in a closed unlighted 
room, or on a cloudy night in the open when there are no Tights 
visible, a single small light seems to move, and it may appear 
to move erratically in ^ dbections. If you present 1^e point 
of light r^eatedly to a person, he may see the light appear- 
ing at different places in the room each time, especially if 
he does not know the distance between himself and the light. 
The experimental production of the autokinetic effect is very 
ea^ and works without any e^eptions, providedt of course, 
that the person or the experimenter does not vse epeeial domes 
to destroy the effect. For in a completely dork room a single 
point of light cannot be localized de^tely, because there 
is nothing in reference to which you can locate it. The effect 
takes place even when the person looking at the light knows 
perfectly well that the light is not moving. These are facts 
which ore not subject to controversy; anyone can easily test 
them for himself. In this situation not only does the stimulating 
light appear erratic and irregular to the subject, but at timea 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 163 

the ^8071 himself feels insecure ahoxd hia spatial hearing , Tliis 
comes out in an especially striking way if Jie is seated in a chair 
without a back and is unfamiliar wi^ the position of the ex- 
perimental room in the building. Under these conditions some 
subjects report that they are not only confused about the 
location of the point of light; th&y are et>en confused about the 
stability of their own posiidon. 

The autokmetic effect is not a new artificial phenomenon in- 
vented by the psychologists. It is older than experimental psy- 
chology. Since it sometimes appears in the observation of the 
heavenly bodies, the astronomers had already noticed it and 
offered theories to explain 

We studied the influence of such social factors as suggestion 
and the group sitaaUon on the extent and direction of per- 
ceived movement. The study of the extent of the experienced 
movement permits a quantitative study for the approach to the 
foimation of norms. We shall therefore report on the extent of 
movement. 

Procedure. We studied the extent of the movement expe- 
rienced in two situations: first, when ofons, except for, the 
experhnentei^in order to get ihe reaction of the individual 
unaffected by other experimentally introduced social factors, 
and thus to gain a basic notion about the perceptual process 
under the circumstances; second, when the mdividual is in a 
group siiuaiMWi.— in order to discover modifications brought 
about by membership in the group. 

The subject was inti'oduced into the group situation in one 
of two ways: He was brought into a group after being experi- 
mented upon when alone. This was done to find out the in^ 
fiuence of the group, situation after he had an opportunity to^ 
react to the situation first in accordance with his own tendencies 
and had ordered it subjectively in his own way. Or he ytos first 
inti'oduced to the situation in the group, having no previous 
familiarity with the situation, and was afterwards experimented 

* For a oondift history of the eutoldoetic effect ss s scientiflo probla:^ see E. ¥• 
Adams, Autbkinetui sensatloiu, Hohos., no. 69, 8S-44. ' ' . 

Several theorlea have also been advanced by psyohologUti to explain the natore of ' 
the autokinetio effect. Thow are immaterial for our present problem. Ihe Important 
fact for us to remember is'that the .autokinetio effeot la produced whenever a visual 
stimulus object la<da a spatial frenie reference. 



164 An Outline of Social Psychology 

upon iudividually. 'This was done to find out whether the poiv 
ceptual order or frame (scale) that might be established in the 
group situation would contmue to determine his reaction to 
the same situation when faced alone. This last point is crucial 
for our problem. The others lead up to it and clarify its im- 
plications. 

The subjects, apparatus, and pi^ocedures used will be only 
briefly outlined here. They ore reported in full elsewhere.’^ 

The experiments were coiTzed on in dork rooms in the 
Columbia psychological laboratory. (See Hg, 18.) The subjects 
were graduate and undergraduate mole students at Columbia 
University and New York University. They were not majoring 
in psychology and did not know anything about the physical 
stimulus setup or the purpose of the experiment. There were 
19 subjects in the individual e3q)enments; 40 took part in the 
group experiments. 

Individual Expermenia. The stimulus light was a tiny point 
of light seen through a small hole In a metal box. The light was 
exposed to the subject by the opening of a suitable shutter con- 
trolled by the experimenter. The distance between the subject 
and the light was 6 meters. The observer was seated at a table 
on which was a telegraph key. The following instructions were 
given in written form: **When the room is completely dai'k, I 
shaU give you the signal HEADY, and then show you a point 
of light. After a short time the light will start to move. As soon 
os you see it move, press the key. A few seconds later the light 
will disappear. Then tell me the distance it moved. Try to 
make your estimates as accurate as possible.** (See Tigs. 18 and 
19 for the experimental setup.) 

These instructions summarize the general procedure of the 
esqperiment. A short time after the light was exposed following 
the READY signal, the subject pressed the key; this produced 
a faint but audible ticking in the timing apparatus indicating 
that he had perceived the (autokinetic) movement. The expo- 
sure time, after the subject pressed the key to indicate that he 
had begun to experience the movement, was two seconds in all 
cases. 

’ M. Sherif, A study of some sooial factors in perception. Arch. Paiiokol.t 1085, no. 
187. 



Formation of Group Standards or Norma 165 




B '-signal button 
B -Experimenter 
K — Reaction Icey 
Ms— Movable screen 
S -Subject 
Sc -Screen 
Sg- Signal light 
Sh— Shutter 
St -Stlmulue light 
T "Timer 
W - Stop wafcc^ 


Fio. 18. Plan of the experimental room used in group oqieriments. : 




160 . An Outline of Social Psychology 

The light was physically stationary dumg the entire time; 
it was not moved at all during any of the experiments. 

After the light hod disappearedi the subject reported orally 
the distance through which he thought it hod moved. The ex- 
petimenter recorded each judgmmit as soon as it was made by 
the subject, writing each one on a separate sheet of a small paper 
pad. One hxmdred judgments were obtained from each subject. 
The subjects reported their estimates in inches (or fractions of 
inches). 

The quantitatwe results are reported elsewhere.^ Here we 
shall present only the conclusions reached on the basis of these 
quantitative results, and give some introspections to clarify 
mese conclusions further. 

The results unequivocally indicate that when individuals per- 
ceive movements which lack any other standard of comparison, 
mbjedwelp eatabliak a range qf extent (a ecale) and a point (a 
standard or nom) mihin Hiat range which is peculiof to Hie in-* 
dmdual (they may differ from the range and point — standard 
or norm— eatabliahed by other individuals). In other words, 
when individuals repeatedly perceive movement with no ob* 
jective basis for gauging its extent, there develops within themi 
in the course of a succession of presentations, a standard (a 
norm or reference point). This subjectively established standoi'd 
or norm serves as a reference point with which eacli successive 
experienced movement is compared and judged— short, long, 
or medium — ^within the range peculiar to the subject. 

express the point more generally, we conclude that in the 
absence qf an objective range or scale of stimuli and an extemaUp 
given reference paint or standardi each individual builds up a 
range of his awn and an internal {subjectioe) rejerence point 
within rangBi and each successive judgment is given vnihin 
that range and in fel<gion to that reference point. The range (scale) 
and reference point established by each individual ore peculiar 
to himself when he is experiment^ upon alone. 

In the second series of the individual experiments, it was 
foimd that once a range, and point of reference within that 
range, are established by on individual, there is a tendency to 
presei've them in the experiments on subsequent days. A 

• Ibid., pp. 24, 84-41. 



Fig. 18. (Above) Apparatus for Individual trials with screen removed. 
(Below) Apparatus for group erperimeitts with screen removed. 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 167 

second and third series of 100 judgments each show a median 
score for a given subject very similar to that found in the first 
series, but with a reduced variability. 

The written reports obtained from every observer at the end 
of the experiment fm'ther corroborate these conclusions. Sum- 
maries of the following sort, which are typical, show that the 
subjects at first found it hard to estimate distance because of 
the lack of externally given reference points or standards: 
**Dai'kness left no guide for distance.** 

**It was difficult to estimate the distance the light moved, 
because of the lack of visible neighboring objects.** 

**There was no fixed point from which to judge distance.** 
Other observations indicate that the subjects developed 
standards of their own in the absence of objective ones: 
“Compared with previous distance.** 

**Used first estimate as standard.** 

This reveals once more the general psychological tendency to 
expei'ience things in relation to some frame of reference, as we 
shall see in our review of related findings in various major fields 
of psychology. (See pp. *17 ff.) 

In the group expa'hnents, finding of experimental psy- 
chology was carried into social psychology, and its operation 
noted when the individual was in a group situation. 

Group Experimonti, On the basis of the results, the 
problem which we must study in the group situation becomes 
self-evident. To recapitulate, the individual experiences the 
external field of stimulation in rdation to a frame of reference; 
when such a frame is given in the objective situation, this will 
usually determine in an important way the structural relation- 
ships of the e3q)erience— all other parts will be organized as 
determined or modified by it. But when an objective frame of 
refei'ence is lacking — when the field of stimulation is unstable, 
vague, and not well structured — the individual pei*ceives the 
situation as shaped by his own internally evolved frame of 
I'eference. The questions that arise for the experiment in the 
group situation, then, are the following: 

How will the individual members in the group situation per- 
ceive the stimulus field? Will there again evolve in each one a 
range and a standard (norm) within that range which will be 



168 An Outline of Social Psychology 

peculiar to lum» as happened when individuals were expei'i- 
mented on alone? 

Or will group influences prevent him from establishing any 
well-deflned range and reference point within that range, and 
thus spoil his capacity to perceive the uncertain situation in 
any sort of order? 

Or will the individuals in the group act together to establish 
a range, and a reference point within that range, which are 
peculiar to the group? 

If such a range and reference point ai'e established, what will 
be the influence of such a group product on the individual mem- 
ber when he subsequently faces the same stimulus situation 
alone? 

These questions represent more or lesa pure cases. There are, 
of course, possibilities that lie between. 

These questions lead us directly to the psychological basis 
of social norms. We must admit that we have reduced the proc- 
ess to n very simple foi-m, but the first fundamental psycho- 
logical problem is the way an individual perceives a stimuhis 
situation. His behavior follows upon this perception rather than 
upon the bold physical presence of the stimulus. There is no 
direct and simple correlation between the stimulus and the 
subsequent behavior, especially on the level of behavior with 
which we ore dealing. A simple perceptual situation is the first 
requirement for experimental analysis of the problem. 

We purpose^ chose a stimulus situation in which the external 
factors are unstable enough, within limits, to allow the internal 
factors to dominate in establishing the main characteristics of 
organization. This enables us to say that any consistent result 
in the experience of the individual members of the group, 
differing from their experience as isolated Individuals, is a func- 
tion of their interaction in the group. 

We have already emphasized the fact that we do not face 
stimulus situations involving other people or even the world 
of nature around us in an indifferent way; we are charged with 
certain modes of readiness, certain established norms, which 
enter to modify our reactions. This important consideration 
shaped the planning of the group experiments. We studied the 
differences between the reactions (a) when the individuals first 



Formation of Group Standai'ds or Norms 1G9 

faced the' stimulus situation in the groups and (b) when they 
joined the group after first establishing iheir individual ranges 
and nohns alone with the experimenter. Accordingly, 20 of the 
subjects began alone and were then put into groups in subse< 
quent experimental sessions; the other 20 started with group 
sessions and ended with individual sessions. 

This rotation teclinique enabled us to di'aw conclusions re- 
garding the following important questions: 

How much of his independently established way of reacting 
to a situation does the individual carry over when facing the 
same stimulus in a group? How much will he be influenced by 
his membership in the group after his range and norm have once 
been established when alone? 

How will he experience the situation when alone, after a com- 
mon range and norm have been established peculiar to the 
group of which he is a member? Will the common product de- 
veloped in the group serve as a determining factor when he 
subsequently faces the some situation alone ? 

The expei'imental setting was in genera! the same as in previ- 
ous experiments. Of course, additional techniques were ueces- 
saiy to handle two or more members of a group at the same 
time. One major addition was the use of signal lights. The 
experimenter* could not tell from the voice alone who was 
giving a judgment; so as each subject gave his judgment aloud, 
he pressed a push button connected with a dim signal li^t of a 
particular color by which the experimenter might know who 
the speaker was. (See Figs. 18 and 19.) 

There were eight groups of two subjects each and eight 
groups of three subjects each. Four groups in each of the two 
categories started with the individual situation (one whole 
session for each iadividual)^ and then functioned as groups. 
Four groups in each category started in group situations for 
the first three sessions- on three diffei-ent days (all members of 
the group beiug present) and were then broken up and, studied 
in the individual situation. 

In order to make tiie relation of individual membei’s to one 
anothei’ as natural as possible, within the limits of the experi- 
mental setting, the subjects were left free as to the order in 
which th^ would give their judgments. In fact, they were told* 



170 An Outline of Social Psycholq^ 

at the start to give their judgments in random ordd^^ihey 
pleased. Whether the person who speaks first has '^ M^ in- 
fluence than the others becomes a study in leadershipp^^ch 
is a further interesting problem. (Perhaps such studies will give 
us an insight into the effect of polarization on the production 
of ‘norms in a group situation.) But from the examination of 
our results, we can say that the reporting of tlie judgments has 
a gradual cumulative effect; aside from whatever infiuence the 
first judgment may have on the second or third, the judgments 
of the third individual at a given presentation affect the subse- 
quent judgments of the first subject in the round of presenta- 
tions following. Thus the production of an established group in- 
fiuence is largely a temporal affair and not the outcome of this or 
that single presentation. We shall refer to this point again later. 

Besides the quantitative judgments obtained during the ex- 
periments, the subjects were asked at the end of each session 
to write down their observations. Questions were asked which 
aimed at finding out whether they became conscious of the 
range and norm they were establishing subjectively. These 
questions were: **Between what maximum and minimum, did 
tiie distances vary?'* "What was the most frequent distance 
that the light moved?’* 

Certain facts stand out clearly from our results, and may be 
summarized in a few paragraphs. 

When an individual faces a stimulus situation which is un- 
stable and not sti'uctured in itself, he eslablUhea a range and 
Tvoerm (a r^ersnee point) loithin that range. The range and norm 
that are developed in each individual ai’e peculiar to that in- 
dividual, and may vary from the ranges and norms developed 
in other individuals in different degi'ees, revealing consistent 
and stable individual differences. The causes of these individual 
differences are difiicult to determine; their understanding 
may prove to be basic to a satisfactory understanding of our 
problem. But for the time being it may be worth while to work 
on our main theme. 

When the individual who develops a range and a norm within 
that range independ^Uy is put into a group situation together 
with other individuals who also enter the situation with theii 
, own ranges and norms established in their own individual ses- 



Ijetoation of Group Standards or Norms 171 

flions^'EIiP^ranges and norms tend to converge. But the con* 
verged^, is not so close as when lliey first work in the group 
situalipn and have less opportunity to set up stable individual 
norms.' (See left-hand graphs, ]^gs. SO and Sl.) 

When individuals face the same unstable, unstructured situ- 
ation os members of a group for the first time, a range and a 
norm (standard) within that range are established which are 
peculiar to the group. If, for the group, there is a rise or fall in 
the norms established in successive sessions, it is a group effect; 
the norms of the individual members rise and fall toward a 
common norm in each session. To this the objection may be 
raised that one subject may lead, and be uninfluenced by otlier 
members of the group; the group norm is simply the leader’s 
norm. To this the only possible empirical reply is that in our 
experiments the leaders were constantly observed to be in- 
fluenced by their followers — if not at the moment, then later 
in the series and in subsequent series. Although the objection 
has occasional force, the statement regarding group norma is in 
general true. Even if the group norm gravitates toward a 
dominating person, the leader represents a polarisation in the 
situation, having a definite rdationship toward others which 
he cannot change at will. If the leader changes his norm after^ 
the group norm is settled he may thereupon cease to be followed, 
as occurred several times in our experiments, hi general, how- 
ever, such cases of complete polarization ore ^Eceptional. (See 
right-hand graphs, Kgs. 20 and 21.) 

The fact that the noim thus established is peculiar to the 
group suggests that there is a factual psychological basis in the 
contentions of social psychologuis and sociologists who main- 
tain that new end supra-individual qualities arise in group situ- 
ations. This is in harmony with the facts developed in the 
psychology of perception. (See Chapter 0.) 

When a member of a group subsequently faces the same 
situation alone, after the range and norm of his group have been 
established, he perceives the situation in terms of the range and 
norm that he brings from the group. This psychologic^ fact 
is important in that it gives a psychological approach to the 
understanding of the social products” that weighed so heavily 
in the discussion of groups. 



MEDIANS IN GROUPS OF TWO SUBJECTS 

STARTINQ WTEH INDIVIDUAL STARTING WITH GROUP 


INDIVIDUAL GROUP GROUP GROUP GROUP GROUP GROUP INDIVIDUAL 



1 n HI IV I u ui IV 
Sessiou 


Fiqs. so and SI. Whdre individual aeasions came first (I)* divergent norms 
eatablUhedi giving rise to *'CunTiel>8hai>ed" figures as a result of the 
convergence of the subjects' norms in the subsequent group sessions (H, 


MEDIANS IN GROUPS OP THREE SUBJECTS 


STARTING WITH INDIVIDUAL STABTINQ WITH GROUP 



Suaion* 


Dll IV)> (See loft-hend graphs in both figures.) Where the group scbuous 
preceded the individual onea, the convergence of norms was apparent from 
the first aessioni and remained throughouii including the (final) individual 
sessionB. (See right-hand graphs in both figures.) 





174 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Di8<su8sion qf ResvMs. The experiments, then, constitute a 
study of the formation of a norm in a simple laboratory situ- 
ation. They show in a simple way, the basic psychological 
process involved in the establishment of social norms. They are 
an extension into the social field of a general psychological 
phenomenon that we find in perception and in many other 
psycliological fields, namely, that our experience is organized 
around or modified by frames of reference, which are factors in 
any given stimulus situation. (Chapter 0) 

On the basis of tliis general principle considered in relation 
to our experimental results, we shall venture to generalize. The 
psychological basis of the established social uoims, such os 
stereotypes, fashions, conventions, customs, and values, is the 
formation of common frames of reference as a product of the 
contact of individuals. Once such frames of rderence are es- 
tablished and incorporated in the individual, they become 
important factors in determining or modifying his reactions to 
the situations tliat he will face later ahnc — social^ and even non- 
social, esrpecially if the stimulus field is not well structured. 

Of course this is a very general statement. It gives ua only 
the hroad haaie prinoiple with which wa can approa^ any apecifio 
aodal norm. In each instance we have to take into consideration 
particular factors that contribute to its production. We have 
also lumped stei'eotypes, fashions, conventions, customs, and 
values together, without considering the distinguishing mark of 
eacli one of them. We brought them together because of a basic 
psychological characteristic that they all have in common, 
namely, that they all serve as frames of reference in their proper 
realms. Some ore more firmly established, surviving many 
generations; some are temporary, with a life that varies fiom 
one season to a few years. Though all are related to the broad 
principle that we have reached, each one of these t37pea of 
norms, with its mode of origin, underlying motivational factor 
or factors, and its effectiveness while it exists, is a problem in 
itself. We shall touch upon some of these more precisely in 
subsequent chapters. 

,OuT esqierhhents merely show the formation of a specific 
frame of reference in a group situation. The experimentid situ- 
ation does not repi*esent a pressing social situation such os la 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 175 

found in everyday life with its intense hunger, sex, and ego 
(status) factors. It is simply one unstable, unstructured situ- 
ation that is new for the subjects. They have no set norms of 
reaction to it, and therefore it is plastic enough to be struc- 
tured by the effect of experimentally introduced social factors 
such as suggestion, pi'esdge, and other group influences. 

In this situation, mlkin certain limite, there is no “right’” 
or “wrong” judgment. One subject demonstrated this spon- 
taneously during the experiment by suggesting, in spite of the 
fact that he was not supposed to talk: “H you tell me once how 
much I am mistaken, dl my judgments Avill be better.** Not 
being sure about the correctness of bis judgments, the subject 
feels uneasy, as we know from the introspective i^eports. In the 
inditidual situaliont the individual structures the unstructured 
situation by furnishing his own peculiar range and reference 
point. In ihe group situaiion the members of the group tend to 
structure the situation by converging toward a common norm 
in their judgments. If in the beginning of the experimental 
session they start with widely different judgments, in the 
course of the experiment they come together, the divergent one 
feeling uncertain and insecure in the solitude given by bis 
judgments. This convergence is not brought about instantiy by 
tlie direct influence of one or two judgments of the other mem- 
bers of the group: it exhibits a temporal pattern. The following 
analysis by a member of one of the groups, written in answer to 
tlie question, “Were you influenced by the judgments of the 
other persons during the experiments?” illustrates our point. 
This subject wi'ote, “Yes, but not on the same obsei-vation, My 
judgment in each cose was already made, and I did not change 
to whatever the other person said. 3ut on subsequent observa- 
tions my judgments were adjusted to tlieir judgments. After a 
number of observations, the previous agreement or lack of it 
influenced me in adjusting my own perspective.’* 

Despite the above case, every individual is not necessarily 
aware qf ihe fact that he is being influenced in the group sittorion, 
or that he and the other members are convei’ging toward a 
common norm. In fact, the majority of the subjects reported 
not only that their judgments were made before the qthers 
spoke, hut that they were not influenced by the others in the group. 



176 


An Outline of Social Psychology 

This fact is in harmony with many observations in the psychoU 
ogy of perception; we know that the general setting of a stimu- 
lus influences its properties, and that unless we take a critical 
and analytic attitude toward the situation we need not be aware 
that its properties are largely determined by its surmundings. 

It must be said that in our experimental setting the subjects 
were not moved by a common interest or drive such os is found 
in a group that faces a common danger, such as starvation or 
the cruel authority of a tyrants In these vital situations thei’e is 
a certain gap tliat has to be SHed, some urgent deprivation to 
be satisfied. Until the need is satisfied, to some degree at least, 
the instability of the situation continues. If the norms and 
slogans that arise under the sti*eBS of a tense and uncertain 
situation do not meet the situation adequately, the instability 
is not removed, and new norms and new slogans are likely to 
arise until the tension is relieved. For example, in a moos of 
hungry people searching for food, a leader or a small party may 
standardize certain norms or slogans as guides to outlow and 
action. But if these norms do not lead to the satisfaction of 
hunger, other loaders or interested parties may and do spring 
up and standardize other nonns or slogans. This dynamic 
process moves on and on until norms or slogans ore reached 
appropriate to the situation. 

Before closing this discussion a word should be said about 
the positive and negative, or lowering and uplifting, effects 
of the group situations. This is necessary because of confusing 
discussions on gi'oup products. We have ^ready seen in Chapter 
6 (pp. 107 ff.) that it is futile and one-sided to take an abso- 
lutistic stand on the problem of whether group interaction 
results in ennobling or degrading effects. Taking sides either 
way is factually eiToneous. Pepending on the motivational 
factors, the background, and the general social setup in which 
the group interacts, emerging group products and group diiec- 
tion will vary. For example, delinquent gangs have harmful 
effects, yet they ore pei'haps among the most democraticoUy 
formed groups. No norm, not even a leader is imposed on them 
from without. The norms (the code), the leader himself emerge 
in the y&y process of interaction. The mass meetings of the 
Hitler Jugend in which the conquest of the world usually be- 



Foimation of Group Standards or Norms 177 

came a fixed, standardized delusion illustrate the degrading 
effects of group interaction. A lynching mob is another good 
example. On the other hand, as we saw in the case of the 
Halifax disaster (p. 107) and in the tremendous sacrifices that 
revolutionai-y group leadei-s are willing to moke, some of the 
loftiest deeds of human selflessness may emeige in intense group 
interactions, therefore, we have to he careful about drawing 
one-sided moralistic conclusions from the formal characteristics 
of group intei-action and group products. The safest thing for 
the social psychologist to do is to cling to his major fielding 
which, of course, has important ideological implications. But 
these have to be worked out against the whole background of 
the socio-economic setup and the motives of men involved in 
the interaction. 


The social psychologist’s important finding is: 
that in the course of interaction relative roles emerge for the 
members: 

that group products peculiar to the group arise; 
that these group norma enter to shape the reactions of the 
individual member even when he is ut> longer actually m 
his group; 

and that group standards rise or fall as a function of group 
interaction and not individually (see the graphs of the 
second and fourth groups of three subjects. Fig. 


The Rise of Standards or Norms In Actual Social Groups 
(Groups in Social Isolation) 

The final test of the validity of a generalization in psychology 
is, of course, its validity in actual situations. The work of the 
psychologist is not an exclusive preoccupation of academic 
people. We must, therefore, find countei'parts of our find ings 
in actual social situations. It has been shown that in vague, 
ill-defined, and confusing situations, group norms appear and 
eventually regulate the reactions of the individual. We shall 
deal with int^o cases of group interaction in situations of 
confusion and instability in Chapter 16. Here we shall present 
only some milder illusti’ations at random. 

The cases of isolated groups of individuals in situations 



178 An Outline of Sodal Psychology 

where their old established standards no longer operate effec- 
tively affoiHl us fine testing grounds for our hypotliesis. Eveiy- 
one is familiar with the rise of codes in adolescent cliques, 
gangs, and close friendship circles. We had occasion to refer to 
concrete illustrations of these in preceding chapters. We shall 
consider adolescent cliques later (Chapter 18). 

In the following paragraphs we shall present some cases of 
the rise of group norms (standards) in social isolation brought 
about by various circumstances. They can be multiplied almost 
indefinitely. 

The moat dear-cut cases for our present purpose are those in 
which individuals arc isolated from the general run of things, 
and face common deprivations, dangers, etc., which necessarily 
lead them to interact as demanded by the urgency of the 
situation. The reports of men under the stress of battle or 
imprisonment in World War II are full of such instances. They 
reveal how norms which ai'e prevalent in society become in- 
effective and tend to break down under the stringent conditions 
of the front line, and how new norms are generated through 
the interaction of the men in this new situation. We have 
already seen how a psychological in-group formation arose in 
the Italian front and how peculiar jokes and interests were 
standardized for the group (pp. 108 f.), Little things which 
were scarce, such os a can opener, comb> or nail clippers, meant 
a great deal to the men. And they felt no scruples about taking 
them. As Pyle said: "Stealing ceased to be just stealing when 
something a man needed badly was taken.’* * A doctor who had 
lived for a year in an isolated logging comp related similarly 
that the norms defining stealing in the camp wei*e quite differ- 
ent from those in the outside world. For esample, taking 
battles of liquor from another man’s ample supply was not 
considered stealing; but taking a man’s clieap flai^lighl (which 
was irreplaceable) was a heinous offense. 

When life is, at the very least, uncomfortable and little 
luxuries are scarce (as they were on the battlefrout), certain be- 
havior may be standardized and practiced even though the 
behavior does not relieve an actual lack or discomfort. As Ernie 
Pyle related: *'£vei*y thing was so scarce we always took any- 

* £mie Pyle, op. oil., p. 140. 



Formation of Group Standards or Norms 179 

thing that was offered us whether we needed it or not* I took a 
proffered cigarette while already smoking one. I drank wine, 
whidi I detest, just because somebody was sharing his bottle. 
I had no shame about accepting candy, cigai'ettes, clothing or 
anything else anybody offered. We all learned to live on the 
policy which Colonel Raff put in these woids: *2 nsesr refuse 
anything*” (p. 140, italics mine). 

During General Jonathan Wainwright's long imprisonment 
under the Japanese, he himself was a member of a group of 
high-ranking Allied officers who together struggled to keep 
their courage up and to keep alive in tlie grim isolation of the 
prison camp.^° We have already seen in Chapter 4 how stand- 
ardized means of dividing food became necessary under the 
almost imbearable duress of hunger (pp. 87-88). Food, in 
fact, became so central in the thoughts of the group members 
that anyone who could steal or smuggle food or tobacco into 
the camp was veiy ^^clever*’ indeed and became almost a 
hero (pp. 247 ff.). The tantalizing sight of the cartloads of food 
which the Japanese hauled in for their own use and which they 
paraded past the hungry prisoners became a subject of much 
concern. A name expressing the conimon reaction of the hungry 
members to this sight become standardized. The carts were 
called *'hope carts" (p. S04). In the horrifying conditions of 
group life, many of the established army statuses (ranks) broke 
down, even though the Japanese sepmrated officers from en- 
listed men. For example, on one occasion Captain Turner vol- 
unteered to serve as orderly for a high Britieh officer who was 
ill, even though this meant less comfort for himself. Wainwri^t 
was willed a razor hone by a sergeant. Because of this precious 
possession, he became the razor sharpener for the group and 
“was kept busy at it through most of each day" (p. 256). 
The interaction of these men struggling to ke^ olive and keep 
hope alive resulted in all Sorts of group products. Late at night, 
slips of paper with pledges and slogans were circulated secretly 
from bed to bed, usually pledging their intention to live through 
their prison horror (p. 236). One favorite slogan was “Home 
Alive in ’46." Passwords (e.g., "Butch") were standardized to 

*** J. M. Wainwrlght, QtAerd WainvrighCf Storift B. Cooaldbie (ed.), New 
York: Gsr^ City PublkblDg Co„ 19401 DouWod^, 1940. 



180 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

serve as warnings against the approach of guai'ds (p. ^40). 
And one group of officers even composed songs and lyrics to 
ke^ up the morale of the group. 

As societies become more highly differentiated* it has hap- 
pened that groups of people voluntarily isolate themselves 
from tlie community at large to develop tlieir own values and 
way of life. The history of the Protestant religions is full of such 
self-imposed formations. For example, the Shalcei’s and Mor- 
mons * Voluntarily isolated themselves from the largei* com- 
munity because tlieir contacts with the community were 
unpleasant.”^ The Shakers originally had no docti'ine or 
creed, in fact protested against the rigidity of fonnal docti'ine. 
However* as ^ey became a group apart and carried on their 
activities* a doctrine arose. **The natural transformation of 
custom into doctrine is a slow process; but opposition hastens 
the formulation of creed. For the creed becomes the defense* 
the justification and the rationalization of the custom’* (p. 66). 
The Mormons did not establish and standardize polygamy as 
a mode of conduct for the ^up until they hod journey^ to and 
lived in the wilderness of Utah, "Through the independent 
social control made possible by isolation distinctive group 
characteristics were formed and impressed upon succeeding 
generations. Mormons are Mormons not through anything in- 
herently Mormon in a portion of human nature* but because 
th^have developed group characteristics independently of the 
community mores” (pp. 118-110). The complicated codes or 
norms resulting in the two groups mentioned* including a cer- 
tain desired "type of personality,” "ideals,” ways of disciplin- 
ing obstreperous members (e.g.* "disfellowship*” or putting 
into "avoidance”), ore stonda^zed and ore available for the 
inculcation of succeeding generations. 

The prisons of established society represent another situation 
in which men come together in a group more or less isolated 
from the rest of society. Clemmer made an extensive study of 
life in a large penitentiary.^* When men enter the prison* they 
are* for the most port, "confused and uncertain about the 

B. ahonlei, The laalaled Udigioue Seat, M.a. TlieBii, Sociology, University of 
Chicogo, August, 1983, p. 1. 

** D. Clemmer, The Priam Community, BMtoni The Christopher Publishing 
House, 1940. 



FormSitioii of Group Standards or Norms 181 

social world they have left** (p. 99). And as each becomes an 
inmate — one number among ^ousands — ^he feels “swallowed 
up** and experiences a "loss of identity** (p. 108), But this state 
of extreme confusion does not last long. In the first place, 
thousands of men, experiencing this lost feeling and striving to 
get along, have already interacted in such a way as to produce 
a certain code of behavior, liliere art accepted ways of com- 
munication, treatment of officials and fellow prisoners, meth- 
ods of satisfying the intense sexual deprivation, etc. All of 
these norms have arisen in. prisons and are, for the most part, 
specifically relevant to the prison situation (although some are 
brought in from the gangs of the “underworld**). There is a 
prison argot — words and phrases standardized in the prison to 
express the situations of prison life. In the second place, within 
the larger prison community, hundreds of spontaneous smaller 
groups develop. And in these small groups too, norms regu- 
lating the behavior of members arise. Clcmmcr found that 
the degree to which the prisoners are successful in tnJdng os 
their own the norms (code) of the prison community and of 
the groups within it had a very real bearing on the reaction 
to the prison situation. If the world outside seems confused 
to a man and if he cannot accept the prison code which might 
serve as a reference frame in interpreting the "atomistic** 
prison life, he may be "swallowed up** and become quite a 
different person. 

By observing such origins of norms and values in Isolated 
group situations, wc ace hi bold relief the operation of certain 
psychological principles which are equally applicable in the 
cose of the individual facing an unstructured situation or to the 
rise of group norms on a moss basis. 

Bven in more or leas haphazard associations of a short dura- 
tion, we see unmistakable manifestations of a spontaneous 
group structure and the rise of norms. For example, a group 
may form among individuds temporarily out of their cus- 
tomary social surroundings on a train or a bus when some cir- 
cumstance or event brings them together. The following 
illustration, though it comes &om a novel and not from ob- 
served evidence, must have happened to some of us in a similar 
. situation. In Steinbeck*8 novel. The ’Wa'jfmostd Bus, the pas- 



182 An Outline of Social Psychology 

sengers mamtained the usual reserve prescribed for their 
situation until Mr. Pritchard, a dignified businessman, acci- 
dentally fell sprawling onto the lap of a pretty girl. “Everyone 
laughed. And suddenly the bus was not full of strangers. Some 
chemical association woe formed.** ^ When a train is delayed 
or wrecked, the passengers may group together and even pro- 
duce norms, in the way of catch words, rumors about the out- 
come of the situation, jokes, etc. 

Social psychology may be able to formulate general prin- 
ciples about group formation and the rise of norms (values), 
applicable to any group organisation with its system of codes, 
if we leam to extract the basic structural common properties 
that prevail in all of them. Otherwise, tlie almost innumerable 
social organizations and the diverse systems of norms peculiar to 
each of &em will remain discrete items, as is the cose today. We 
cannot hope to achieve a science of social life as long as we remain 
dumfounded by the unique qualities of every social pattern. 

The basic principles underlying any group formation — the 
rise of a group structure and products (norms) in more or less 
casual groupings of short duration, os well as well-structured, 
lasting groups — ^must be the same. The artificiality and, in 
fact, the fallacy of making sharp demarcations in rriaUon to 
the boaic properties of groups was noted by Sapir, who used a 
group at on automobile accident and a Senate body as examples : 

There is in reality no definite line of division anywhere along the 
gamut of group forms which connect these extremes. If the automo- 
bile oocid^t is serious and one cd the members of the crowd is a 
doctor, the informal group may with comparatively little difficulty 
resolve itself into something like a medical squad with on implicitly 
elected leader. On the other hand, if the government is passing through 
a great political crisis, if there is little confidence in tlie representative 
character or honesty of the senators or if an enemy is besieging the 
capital and likely at any momen^ to substitute entirely new forms of 
corporate authority for those legally recognized by the citizens of the 
country, the Senate may easily become an unimportant aggregation 
of individuals who sudd^y and with unexpected poignancy feel their 
helplessness as mere individuals.*^ 

^ J. Stebihede, The Weywari Bw, New York: The Viking Press, 1947, p. 161. 

** E. Sapir, Group, in Bnayciopetdia cff ihe Soeial Seieneu, New York: MocmiUan, 
IdSa, 7, 178-182. 



8 . 


The Formation 
and Effects qf Concepts 


THB QFFECXS OF GROUP INTERACTION ON INDIYlDUALa ABE NOT 
confined simply to the duration of the interaction. As we have 
seen, group products — tools, concepts, norips fvalues) etc.' — 
come into existence, are standardized and accumulated. The 
individual uses them and responds to them in his daily life — ^in 
company of others or alone. He is almost constantly dealing 
with the products of group interaction. This means that he is 
ever carrying on his life activities on the level of the accumu- 
lated group products of his time and social setting. In this 
chapter we shall deal briefly with the effects and genetic de- 
velopment of the concepts expressed in language — perhaps the 
moat important single item in the whole process of human 
socialization. In the chapters to follow, we ^11 deal with the 
effects of other social products. 

Some Gffeota of Concepts 

As social psychologists, we must study the effects of language 
on the behavior of human individuals. Surely no function of the 
adult human escapes the influence of his language symbolisms 
(including the use of tools). Although on adequate treatment 
of the psychology of language is beyond the scope of an outline 
of social psychology, we can, by orienting the problems in- 
volved, clarify the discussions of the psychological concepts 
dealt with in the chapters to follow. After gaming some per- 
spective on the general nature of concepts and their psycho- 
logical effects, we shall consider briefly their genetic formation 
as basic to the process of socialization. 

Historical and anthropological material makes evident the 

1S8 




184 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

fact that the concepts of a group are not dropped from the 
blue or the result of the inventive genius of one individual (for 
his creation must be in harmony with the temper of his times) 
Concepts arise during group interaction. The crucial -way in 
which they act to determine the experience, thinking, and 
beha-vior of the group is not, perhaps, quite so evident. 

A glance at even sketchy accounts of the rise and effects 
of some important concepts is relevant. Concepts of number, 
weight and measure, and time may be taken as examples.^ 
There was a time in tlic early history of every society when no 
one could count. Some tiibes without accurate concepts of 
number exist today. A shepherd, for example, kept track of his 
sheep by calling each by name. During the long and compli- 
cated development of concepts of number, different systems 
arose in the history of different groups. Thus, the Old Baby- 
lonians developed a “sexagesimal system'* in which 6D was a 
higher unit« as 100 is for us today, ^at is known of the 
fascinating history of the “sero," so important in the develop- 
ment of mathematics and consequently of science in generi, 
clearly shows that it “come into use so gradually and its value 
was established by the cooperation of so many people that it 
con hardly be said to have had an inventor'* (a, p. 16). 

The hiatoiy of measures is chiefly one of standardization of 
units for ever-enlarging groups of people. Bor example, in 
ancient times, measures of length were based on pai'ts of the 
body and consequently vaiied from person to person. The ways 
which were worked out for standaidizing such measures for a 
community seem very colorful today. In one German com- 
munity, the following method was agreed upon: *^Stand at the 
door of a church on a Sunday, and bid 10 men to stop, tall ones 
and small ones, os they happen to pass out when the service is 
finished: then make ^em put their left feet one behind the 

1 Eves eciestifio oonosptB bave bees fousd to re0oct the run of evesta in human 
hlitory. See, for example, Conont'i evidence and comments on this fact in his lectures: 
J. B. Conant, On TJndtrMnding Scimoi, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1047. 

* The material in the folle*^ng paragraphs is talcen from a series of pamphlets 
pr^ored and distiibuted h; the Amwicad Council on Education, 744 Jactmon Place. 
T7.W., -Washington 6, D, C. The7 8re: (a) "’nieStoiy of Numbers,** Achievements of 
Civilintion, no. S, 109S; (&) **Tbe Story of Weights and Measures/* no. S, lOSS; 
(o) " TellingTime'Iliroiighout the Centuries,** no. 6, lOSS; (d) *' Tho Story of Our Col- 
o^T,” BO. 4, 19SS. 



Foimation and Effects of Concepts 185 

other and the length thus obtained shall be a right and la^ul 
rood CrodJ to measure and survey land with, imd the sixteenth 
part of it shall be a right and lawful foot” (6, p. 11), During 
the Middle Ages, with its feudal organization, almost every 
town had its own measuring units. Of com'se, a gi'eat deal of 
confusion (psychological and otherwise) could result when in- 
dividuals from different towns attempted to trade. Measures 
of suriace developed chiefly as a I'esult of the need for units of 
land measure. The Romans and other European groups used as 
a unit the amount of land a certain amount of grain would 
plant. In medieval England, land was measured in terms of the 
number of yoke of oxen or plows needed to cultivate the land, 
Probably the measurement of weight did not assume much 
importance until trade in precious materials began. 

The importance of time concepts in modem life is almost 
taken for granted. Yet not only were time concepts relatively 
less important in earlier periods of history, they were for the 
most part exceedingly inaccurate and varied tremendously 
from group to group. Even as recently as 1860, people in 
Amei’ica laughed at the idea of a factoiy producing seven 
watches a day— for who would want them? ( 0 , p. 1). In modem 
life, time may become so important that some people are con- 
siderably upset if they “lose track of the time” or are a few 
minutes early or late. This seems pei'fectly natural to us— as 
“natural” os a j84-hour day or a 7-day week. Yet “the mo- 
ment man began dividing the time from sunrise to sunset into 
equal peiiods, he left naturcd time-telling behind him. As ha^ 
been pointed out, our hours, minutes, and seconds ore not 
moi'k^ in any way by nature. There is, moreover, nothing 
natural in numbering our hours from one to twelve and then 
beginning over again with one. ... It is not nature! to have the 
calendar day begin at midnight . . , the calendar day itself is 
on artificial unit although it began as a natural ope— it is now 
the average solar day” ( 0 , pp. 03-84). 

Our concept of months and years may seem to many people 
simply a part of nature, but “for many, many centuries sudh an, 
expression as *two moons ago* or ‘three harvests ago* was an^ 
accurate ennngh way of dating any event. When men did try. 
to fit days, months, and years together'into a single scheme for 



186 An Outline of Social Psychology 

reckoning time, they found the taak of making a good calendar 
yezy difficult’* (d, p. 8). Eai'ly calendars often varied in terms 
of the activities of the gi’oup. For example, Babylonian months 
yrere determined by the seasonal acdvities carried on, such as 
plowing, brick-maJdng, herding, etc. Whereas some calendars 
were based on cycles of the moon, the Egyptians based theirs on 
the sun — with thi'ee seasons based on the condition of the Nile 
and their consequent agricultural activities. And just as values 
standardized by the group may continue after the conditions 
which gave rise to them disappeai*, so concepts of time may 
remain in use though no loiter appropriate. In Babylonian 
history, the month units, because they were based on in- 
accurate units of the solar cycle, slipped from their proper 
places in the scsaons. In time, the plowing month fell in the 
wrong season* for plowing and so forth. 

Now such variations in the concepts of a language produce 
almost overwhelming differences in the consequent expei'ience 
and reactions of the group, llie fact that Eskimos use three 
different words for snow, depending on its state, and the 
Hopia use two words for water surely has a consequential 
effect upon the users of the terms. The anthropologists, Kluck- 
hohn and Kelly, have emphasized this point on a more com- 
prehensive scale by illustrating the different results of the 
structure of a language on the experience of tlie users; 

Especially the morphology of a language preserves the unformu- 
lated philosophy of the group. For example, Dorothy Lee has shown 
that among the Tcobviond Islanders ** the sequence of events does not 
automatically fall into the mold of causal or telic relationship.’* Be- 
cause of the mold which grammar imposes upon our thinking ” these 
people find certain types of communication with Europeans difficult 
since Europeans almost inevitably talk in causal terms. 

The very morphology of any language inevitably begs far-ieaching 
questions of metaphyncs and of values. A language is not merely an 
instrument for conununication and for rousing the emotions. Evety 
language ia also a device for categorisdng experience. The continuum of 
expeiience can be sliced very differently. We tend all too ea^y to 
assume that the distinctions which Indo-European languages (or our 
own particular language) force us to moke are given by the world of 
nature. As a matter of fact, comparative linguistics shows very 
plainly that any speech demands unconscious conceptual selection on 



Formation and Effects of Concepts 187 

the part of its speaker. No human organism con respond to all the 
kaleidoscopic stimuli which impinge upon it from the external world. 
What we noticSf what we talk about, whai we feel as important is in some 
part a function of our lingttisiio patterns. Because these linguistic 
habits tend to remain as unquestioned background phenomena,** 
each people tends to take its fundamental categories, its unstated 
basic premises for granted. It is assumed liiat others will " think the 
same way.” for " it’s only human nature.'* "When others face tlie same 
body of data but come to different conclusions, it is seldom thought 
that they might be proceeding from different premises. Rather, it is 
inferred that they axe “ stupid '* or ** illogical ** or “ obstinate.” ® 

Some psychologists have gone so far as to equate language 
and thinking. Although it is not our problem here, the relation- 
ship of language and diought and its effects on various functions 
is surely an important area of study, especieJIy for social psy- 
cliology. For, os we shall see presently, the whole process of 
socialization is linked with language development, perhaps 
more than with any other single aspect of development. But 
let us start with some relatively simple examples of the effects 
of concepts upon experience and behavior. 

As Gemelli has reported, a verj^ frequent form of response to 
a perceptual situation is simply to name the perceived form or 
object.^ A few examples of the effects of nmning from the re- 
search of Baitlett will illustrate how concepts enter to affect 
the structure of perception and memory.* Bartlett found that 
even very simple line designs were spontaneously named by his 
subjects. Naming of these simple, siruchtred drawings hod little 
effect on their subsequent reproduction. But the naming of 
slightly more detailed designs had definite effects. Here, accord- 
ing to Bartlett, 

Naming occupied a porition of greater importance. It not only 
satisfied the observer, but helped to shape his representation. For 
example, [one figure]] was once called a "pick-axe” and was repre- 
sented with pointed pron^. Once it was tomed a " turf-cutter ” and 
made with a rounded blade. It was called in part a key (the handle), 

* C. Kludchohn and W. H. Kelly, "The Concept of Culture,” lo B. Linton (ed.)* 
The Saimm of Man t'n Me Wtnid Cri»£», New Yorii: Columbia Cniveraity Press, lau, 
pp. 100-101 (italics mine). 

< A. Gemelli. Areh. Oei. Psgekol., 1D2S, 05, 207. 

* F. C. Bartlett, AejRem5enn9; A Study (n Experimental and Soeid PegeMogy, 
Cambridge: Uatversi^ Fresi, 1092. 



188 An Outline of Social Psychology 

and in part a shovel (the blade), and changed accordingly in repre- 
sentation. Six observers called it an ** andior/* and exaggerated the 
size of the ring at the top* Once only was the point in the blade cor- 
rectly reproduced— by a subject who said that the design represented 
a "prehistoric battle-axe.** ... All this neatly illustrates how great a 
variety of names may be given to simple ol^eryational material and 
also— a point more to our purpose — ^how the name, as soon as it is 
aaaignsdi wmediately shapes both what is seen and wkai is reeaUed 
(p. go, italics mine). 

If a figure appeared odd, disconnected and unfamiliar, it was in 
alinost all cases attacked at once by analogy. So naming came in again, 
in a different way. Por the analogy had practically always to do with 
the shape of the figure, or with the disposition of its lines and curves, 
When [a certain figure] was shown to a mathematical student, he at 
once remarked: "That arrangement of lines reminds me of a * de- 
terminant.' ** His immediate reproduction was accurate and several 
weeks later he recalled and correctly reproduced this figure (p. 21). 

We see that the particular concept used served as an anchor- 
age for the individual, determining hia reactions in relation to 
the stimulus. McGranohan, alter surveying the literature on 
such efiPects of language, came to the conclusion: *'The effect of 
language on perception appeal's to be to make those features 
of the objective world that are represented by linguistic forms 
stand out in greatei* articulation, to give greater individuality 
to the object or event so represented, to cause similoi'ities to be 
seen in t^gs similarly represented, and in general to influence 
perception in the direction of the Bpeech-foims.” ^ 

' In the learning process, too, concepts may serve as anchor- 
ages for the indWiduaii thus having marked effects upon the 
course of learning. Woi’den found that a maze was learned with 
considerably greater efficiency when verbal cues were em- 
ployed.^ An adequate learning theory will necessarily be one 
that can handle such facts. 

The American standard intelligence tests (Stanfoi'd-Binet, 
especially Form L) simply ore not applicable for children in 
otkev cifltures — ^in the rural sections of Turkey, for instance. 
Aside from the verbal tests, even the pictures of many "com- 

* D. y. McG?Bi)fllian, The psychology of laaguage, PtyohoL BuU>i 1080, 88, p. SOS. 

’ C. (j. Warden, The relative economy of various inodes of attack In the mosteiy 
of a ityluB mace, J. Exper. Psyefiol’, 1884, 7, 248-870. 



Formation and Eflfecta of Concepts 189 

mon*’ objects ai*e not understood, because the objects do not 
have the same symbolic value in America and in rural Turkey. 

Because concepts function as anchoring points and frames 
in relation to which experience » structui*^, the acquisition of 
concepts leads to a more or less choracteiistic organization of 
response. It has been report^ that the behavior of nhilHran 
who are deaf and blind from an eaiiy age is disorganized imd 
diffused until they learn some definite concepts.^ 

Liuia has emphasized that language, by providing organized 
and guiding cues, gives to behavior its organized and vohmtary 
character.* The findings related to the decrease in the speed of 
conditioning in oldei* children owing to emergence of 'Volun- 
tary” factors would seem to give support to this contention. 
Genetic study of the central control of conditioning reveals 
that there is no evidence for such control "in the first year of 
human life^ fJds control making its first appearance at the age of 
SSt probably coeval v>Wi the child's instrumental mastery of his 
verbal and conaoious processes** ^ It has been observed that in 
many coses of insanity the language of the patient runs a retro- 
gressive course concomitant with a deterioration of organized 
behavior patterns, “ 

Concepts inherent in the language hove, then, important de- 
monstrable effects on the psychology of individuals. Many of the 
individual's attitudes are formed in relation to concepts during 
the course of his development. The capacity for functioning on 
a conceptual level mokes possible the development of the 
individual’s conception of himself and of his relationship to 
other persons and objects around him. And it is of utmost im- 
portance that this conceptual level of psychological functioning 
emerge in the scale of the animal kingdom only on the human 
level. 

In a simpler form, we see the capacity for the formation of 
concepts in tlie lower animals. Here the process is referred to 
as "genei'alization.” For example, a rat which hu been con- 

■ D. HcGiunnhan, op. oU., p. 806. 

• A. B. Luria, Th$ Naitirt ^ Human ConfiieU, New Yorki liveri^t, 1038. 

^0 6. H. S. Basran, Conditioned responses: an experimental stud^ and a the^ 
oreUcal annlysls. ilroA. Ptjfohol., 1086, nO. 181, p. 118. 

A. A. Lpw, Studies In infant speech and thought, lU, M$d. Dttd. Monogr,, 1086, 
1, no. 8. 



190 An Outline of Social Psychology 

ditioned to jump when presented with a tone of 1,000 cycles 
will respond also to a 000-cycle tone. Somewhat nearer the 
formation of concepts is the observation by several escperi- 
menters of an animal’s response to form as independent 
of position. Thus it has been found that rats, raccoons, cats, 
and monkeys can be trained to respond equivalently to tri- 
angles, even when they ore inveried.^^ But a 2-year-o1d child is 
apparently better able than a chimpanzee to make this dis- 
crimination.^* 

Chimpanzees can learn to use tokens to obtain food from a 
vending machine, The tokens then acquire symbolic value and 
become “adequate incentives’* for the animal in learning situ- 
ations. However, as Cowles found, they are not os effective as 
a food rewaid itself. Furthermore, when food is not given for 
the tokens— the response is not “reinforced” — their effective- 
ness as incentives disappears in time. “There is considerable 
evidence that the food-token was an adequate incentive for 
learning and retention only by vii^tue of its exchange for food.” 
Man’s reactions to symbols acquire immeasurably greater sig- 
nificance. Not only will he save money when its exchange for 
food is not possible; he will even continue to accumulate money 
far past the point necessary to feed, clothe, and otherwise 
sati^ tbe basic needs of himself, his family, and even future 
generations. As Hayokawa has noted:” « . . a chimpanzee con 
be taught to drive a car, but there is one thing wrong with its 
driving: its reactions are su(^ that if a red light shows when it is 
halfway across a street, it will stop in the middle of the crossing, 
while if a green light shows while anotlier cor is stalled in its 
path, it will go ahead regardless of consequences. In other 
woi'ds, so far as a chimpanzee is concei'ned, the red light con 
hardly be said to stand for stop; it is stop.” ^ 

It may be useful to distinguish between reactions which oi'e 

^ For FBviewa of thia research, aee N. L. Muon, P^holoffioal Dte^opmentt Boston : 
Houghton MilBin, 10S6, p. 148; end C. T, Morgan, Fhytiologieal i’apoAofog^, New 
Yorlc: Me6iaw-Hi)1, 1048. pp. 109 0. 

u L, W. Gelleniian, Form duaiminatlon in chimponaeea and two-year>old children. 
L Diacrirainatuni of form pec se, J. Gend. Pjgo6oI., 10S8, 42, 1-80. 

^ J, T. Cowloa, Food-tokens as incentiyes for learning by cbimpanzeea. Comp. 
Pq/oAoi. Monogrtt 1887, 14, do. 8, p. 04. 

» S. L Hayakawa, Language in Action, Nev York; Harcourt, Brace, 1041, p. SO. 



Formation and Effects of Concepts 191 

perceptually and those which are conceptually symbolic. For 
although animals are able to react to stimuli with different 
characteristics as equivalenit they are not able to divorce this 
equivalence from specific perceptual situations. As we shall see» 
this is also characteristic of many of the symbolic reactions of 
young children. In man, the range of this equivalence is vastly 
extended by his ability to function conceptually, apart from a 
specific perceptual context. Ihis capacity of functioning on a 
conceptually symbolic level makes possible the formation and 
accumulation of concepts encompassing a tremendous range of 
stimuli. Hayakawa has illustrated this capacity and almost 
infinite scope of generalization in **The Abstraction Ladder.” 
(See Fig. 28.) 

It is true, of course, tbat there is no neceseary correspondence 
between every concept and the objects, situation, or class of 
stimuli it represents. But we must point out that concepts 
must to some degree accurately epitomize the objective world 
so tbat man’s life activities will continue. Sometimes concepts 
are used aftei* the situation that gave rise to them is over or 
after the concept has been proved en'oneous, but sooner or 
later a new concept will be formed to express the actual state 
of things. This carry-over of concepts, the resistance to change, 
and the rise of new concepts have been observed in science, as 
well as in other activities of man.^^ 

New concepts are constantly arismg as conditions change. 
"Quisling,” "jitterbug,” "juke box,” "fifth column,” "de- 
nazification,” "atom bomb,” "normalcy” are examples. The 
study of the origin of such new concepts will be profitable for 
social psychologists as well as for social scientists. The "New 
Words Section” of a standard dictionary, such as Merriam- 
Webster, is a good source for such study, since the compilation, 
of a modem dictionary consists mainly in checking the appear- 
ance and use of a word as it is spoken and written in daily life.^^ 
A loi’ge proportion of tlie most recent edition of a standard 
dictionary’s New Woids Section is composed of military woids. 
And about hcdf of them concern airplanes and bombing raids. 

" Sec J. B. Conant, op. eit, 

C.D. Rice, Do You Speak Engl FMi W^ifapaafn^ Decembw ]i'1940, 
pp. 8-0 and SS. 



192 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Here is a rather neat demonstration of the fact that a new 
situation, paiticulai'ly one of such overwhelming importance 
as World War II, gives rise to new concepts expressing the 
new conditions and objects. The rising pressure of labor-owner 
problems is attested to by a large numbei* of new words, such 
as “sit-down strike** and “fink.** The appearance of a new 
style of music is marked by a whole collection of new words — 
“jive/* “hepcat/* ‘‘alligator/* “boogie-woogie/* etc. Some- 
times, of course, a new word may be intentionally coined by 
one person. If it “catches on,** it is because certain conditions 
or objects exist which need crystallization for those who come 
into contact with them. 

However, the truth or falsity of a concept in terms of the 
objective world is not in itself a psychological problem. Its 
appropriateness to the world of objects and events can be as- 
certained by scientists in the 8pe<^c fields, e.g., physics, bi- 
ology, etc. Por example, the frequently used and abused 
concept, “ race,** can be brought into line with objective facts by 
the science of biology. 

What is the explanation for the emergence of the conceptually 
symbolic level of functioning in man? It is surely not his 
organs of speech, for many animalB have these same organs. 
As Sapir observed: “Physiologically speech is an overlaid 
function, or, to be more precise, a group of overlaid functions. 
It gets what service it con but of organs and functions, nei'vous 
and muscular, that have come into being and are maintained 
for very different ends than its own/* Biological scientists 
agree that the answer lies in. the fact that man has more ex- 
tensive cortical development, especially of the frontal areas, 
than any of the subhuman animals. It is this development on 
the human level which makes possible the rise and especially 
the a&mmulation of concepts and norms. In summarizing these 
points, the anthropologist White notes that even man’s use and 
accumulation of tools — so vital in the whole rise of civilization 
— are made possible by this conceptual level. Por although the 
higher apes can indeed use and make tools, they are limited by 
their perceptual range. “Tool-using among apes is thus a dis- 

» IS. 9apir, Language, an Ininiueiion to the Sludff of Speeah, New York: Horoouit 
Bracci 1921, p, S. 



THE ABSTRACTION LADDER 

Start Readiag from Bottom DP 



Fia. 82. The Abstraction Ladder. Read from the bottomup. (FpomZofi- 
guag$ in jiaUm by S. 1. Hayakawa (Harcourt, Brace). Adnirted from 
"Structural Differential "in Soienw and Saniitf copyrighted byA.Korgybski.) 




104 An Outline of Social Psychology 

contiiLuous psychological process subjectively as well as 
objectively. 

*'With maU} tool ei^erience Is quite diiferent. Oveitlyj tool* 
using is a discontinuous process os, of course, it must be. But 
subjectively, tool ext)erience in man is continuous and en- 
during.*’ For man, tools become also s 5 mibols to be passed on 
to future generations. 

The foimation and effects of concepts and symbols ai'e, for 
the most part, problems on the level of human psychology. We 
cannot pretend here to give an adequate treatment of concept 
formation. But the problem is so basic to man’s psychological 
functioning, and especially to his socialization, that we can 
achieve some orientation by inquiring how the individual ac- 
quires tlieae concepts. 

Concept Formation 

Language concepts are products of the interaction of human 
individuals in groups. Their acquisition is of utmost importance 
in the socialization of the individual. Once formed, concepts 
enter to structure his expei’icnce and behavior. Individuals may, 
in turn, participate as members of groups in the formation of 
new concepts. 

Prom the results of a series of experiments on concept forma- 
tion, Heidbreder concluded that **th6 attainment of concepts is 
psychologically a modification of the perception of objects, and 
that it is likely to conform to the pattern of the perception of 
objects as closely as the conditions peimit.” In these experi- 
ments, the concepts of conci*ete objects were attained with the 
greatest ease, concepts of spatial forms less easily, and concepts 
of numbers least readily. This oi'der would seem also to follow 
the relative distance of the concepts from a perceptual level to 
higher levels of abstraction. Concepts were attained more easily 
from pictured than from vei'bol material.” And the attainment 

” L. K. White, On the uae^of tools lu' primates, J. Comp. Pireftol., lOlt, 84, 900- 
874. 

£. HeldbEeder, Toward a dynamio psychology of cognition, Ptpihol, Reo., 1640, 
52, 1-28. 

E. Heidbreder, A study of the evolution of conc^s (abstract), Paf/ohoi. 
ldS4, 81, 078. 



Formation and Elfectfi of Concepts 


195 


of a concept was found to vary not with the relative ease or 
difficulty of memorizing its name (nonsense syllables) but rather 
“by the relation between its reference and the perceptual 
situation in which it is presented.** 

Hull found that calling the individual's attention to the 
elements common to several stimuli while they were before him 
“consistently increases the efficiency of the process.” ® On the 
other hand, when the common elements are directly given to 
the individual out of the perceptual situation, the efficiency of 
concept formation was no greater than when no hints were 
given at all. 

Linking concept formation with perception in this crucial way 
gives us a general orientation. But we must not forget that a 
concept also involves abstraction and generalization. As Smoke 
found, “The process of concept formation appears to involve 
grouping. The learner tends to envisage certain stimulus pat- 
terns as constituting a group to which any given stimulus paitem 
does or does not belong.** ^ 

There may be considerable substance in Sapir*s conclusion 
that **the speech element 'house* is the symbol, first and fore- 
most. not of a single perception, nor even of the notion of a 
particular object, but of a 'concept,* in other words, of a 
convenient capsule of thought that embi’aces thousands of 
distinct experiences and is ready to take in thousands moi'e. 
If tfie Single aigni&cant dements oi speech me t2ie symbols oi 
concepts, the actual flow of speech may be interpreted as a 
record of the setting of these concepts into mutual relations.” ” 

But if the problem were left here, one might conclude, as some 
investigators have, that concepts are "logical constructs.** 
Such a view ignores the findings of genetic psychology, which 
indicate that motivational factors enter into the attainment of 
concepts; and that concepts are not static entities but change 
and devdop as the individual develops. As a result of intensive 
investigation, Vigotsky concluded that "from the psychological 

^ Q. Heidbieder, Looguago and cooMpts, Pagehol. Bull,, 1090, 88, 784. 

** C. L. Hull, Quantitative aspecbi of the evolution of concepts: an expaimental 
study, PayohoL Itonogr., 1020, 98, no. ISO. 

** K. L. Smoke, An objective study of concept formation, Ptyehd. Monoyrt lOSS, 
42, no. 101, p. 85 (italics mine). 

** E. Snplr, op. oiV., p. 12. 



196 An Outiine of Social Psychology 

point of view the meaning of a word is nothing but a generaliza- 
tion or concept. . . . The main result of our investigation . . . 
is the thesis that the meaning of words develop.’’ 'With this 
orientation^ there seems little point in separating psychologi- 
cally concepts of value and concepts of reality. Psychologically, 
both would seem to be attained by the same process, with 
gi'eater or lesser degi*ees of motivational and affective com- 
ponents. 

With the above considerations in mind, let us turn now 
specifically to evidence from genetic psychology concerning 
the development of children’s concepts. 

In discussing the role of biogenic needs in the behavior of the 
infant, we mentioned the results of research on children’s per- 
ceptions (see pp. BSS6). Very young children tend to perceive 
the world around them in tei*ma of undifferentiated, meaning- 
ful wholes. And those objects or persons which ore meanmg- 
ful are those with biological value in terms of satisfying basic 
needs. It is true, of course, that the child is not always under 
the grip of a biological need, and that reactions to soci^ objects 
and situations begin very early. And as soon as socially de- 
rived, leoi'ned (sociogenic) motives begin to come into the 
picture, they too exert a directive effect on the perceptual 
process. 

Even in eicperimental situations, it is found that young 
children tend to notice large, moving stimuli rather than fine 
details, unless they are specifically motivated otherwise (see 
p. 66), After reviewing the research on children’s reactions to 
perceptual situations, Vernon concluded that children ore not 
intei'ested in the discrimination of sensory qualities, but only 
in the broad perceptual outlines of meaningful wholes.”’’ 
Their reactions tend to be to the outstanding features of a 
situation. If such aspects are not determined by the need or 
wish dominant at the moment, they are usually those which are 
most prominent in the situation its^. For example^ a baby will 
generally notice a large red toy rather than a sn^l pink one by 
its side. 

With age comes an increasing tendency to distinguish detail 

MLS. Vigotaky, Thought sod apoeoh, Payokiatry, 1030. S, S0-'54, 

M. D. Vernon, Visml Ptmptton, Cambridge: Univeraity Press, 1087, p. IBS. 



Foxmatiou and Effects of Concepts 197 

and the qualities of things (e.g., color).** Thus on the standard 
Binet intelligence tests, discrimination of size comes at the 
4-year-old level and discrimiziation of color and weight at the 
fi-year level. There seems to be little doubt that the increasing 
discriminativenesa of perception is related to the acquisition of 
concepts. It would seem that concept formation is &st limited 
and regulated by the child's perception (see below), which in 
turn is reacted upon by the acquisition of concepts. 

In view of the experimental results indicating the close re- 
lationship between perception and concept formation, it is not 
accidental that tlie development of children's early concepts 
also seems to follow a course similar to that of their perceptions. 
The early words of children are almost always nouns referring 
to objects or persons related to the satisfaction of their desires, 
feelings, and especially of th^ basic needs.** Even for children, 
d to 5 years old, the most commonly used concepts are those 
related to mother, home, father, and brothers and sistei's — in 
other words, the sources of satisfaction for their biogenic needs 
and other desii*es which are beginning to appear at these ages.** 
These early concepts have been compared to one-word sen- 
tences. They ore largely undifferentiated and are used at first 
in direct relation to specific situations. - 

The fact that children’s eai‘ly concepts are closely tied to 
perceptual situations has been observed by many investigators. 
By noting the relative order in which the various parts of 
speech enter the child’s repertoire of language responses, we 
may have some indication of the relationship between per- 
ception and concept formation. MhCarthy has mentioned- the 
^'naming stage in which, after making the important discovery 
that everything has a name, he asks many ’what questions’ in 
order to learn the names of the various objecto in his environ- 

See for example the research of W. Zishi The growth of visual peroeptibn in chil- 
dren. PagoAoi. Monegr, SupjA. XSSI, 8, no. 10; V. Haalitt, CUldten's thinking, 

Bn't. J. Pagohol,. X880, SO, 861-861; B. Staples. The respoote of mf&nU to color, J. 
Ezptr. Psgohol., 108S, 18, 119-111. 

FCr relevant litorature on ihis point, see D. McCarthy, Lao^ge davdopment 
in children, chap. 10, pp. 470-881, in L. Cumlohnd Ced.), jafdRiud qf CkSd Ptydulogn, 
New York: wil^, lOlBj and £• Dewey, Ivfant SArnior, New York!' Columbia DJliv<a^< 
aity Freaa, 1986, p. 981. 

” M. M. Shirley, Common content in the apeech of ptesehool childien, Chili Th> 
sdop., 198B, 0, 898-846. 



198 An Outline of Social Psychology 


ment.’’ But names for classes of stimuli not directly per- 
ceivable appear comparativdy late. For example, the concept 
*'metar* appears fairly late and is accurately used only when 
a mental age of about 11 has been reached.** It is significant, 
too, that verbs, which are usually acquired after nouns, at 
fii'st refer only to the immediate situation in which the child 
finds himself.” And even when past and future tenses ore used, 
the time which is so conceptualized refers at first to the very 
near past or future.*^ This point is well illustrated by Bean’s 
observations of his child at years of age;** the child used 
“yesterday” to refer to all past time and “this afternoon” to 
refer to all future time. Concepts of time, then, seem to be 
detached from the immediate very slowly indeed. 

Adjectives, which are the next parts of speech to be used, 
. increase with age — ^with definite adjectives becoming relatively 
fewer and indefinite adjectives increasing.” This would be ex- 
pected from, the genetic studies of children’s p^ceptions. As 
Bean concluded, “Despite adult obtrusion of qualities into the 
experience of children . . . they ore so busy acquainting them- 
selves with objects and their uses that the qualities of objects 
ploy a less important part in their mental life, and therefore In 
their language, until tliere is a large enough fund of nouns, and 
until the nouns are familiar enough to lend definiteness of mean- 
ing to their modifiers.” 

Belational words appear after adjectives, and pronouns are 
just coming into use around the end of the second year (at 
least for the American children studied).** As we shall see in a 
later chapter, the attainment of that level of functioning in 
which “I,” “me,” “mine,” “you,” “yours,” and finally “we” 


D, McCarthy, ap. oil., p. 508. 

* A. F. WattJ, TAc Language and Mental DeeriopmetU of ChUdrent London: 
George G. Harrap and Co., Ltd.. 1044, p. 2S. 

M. M. Lewis, The begrnning of rrfSience lo past and future m a ehild'e speech. 
Brit. J. Edae. 1037, 7, 80-80. 

** S. Adams, Analysis of verb forms in the speech of young children and their re< 
InUon to the language learning pipcess, J. Expm. BduoaL, 1088, 7, 141-144. 

C. H. Bean, An unusual opportunity to investigate the psyclndogy of language, 
/. Osnd. P^peAol., 1038, 40, 181-S02. 

** J. B. CniTclI, Detennining and numerating adjectives In children’s speech, 
Chad Dee^op., 1080, 10, S14-8S0. 

^ C. H. Bmn, op. ct(., p. 108 (italics xxdoe). 

“ B. Dewey, op. ait., p. 851, 



Formation and Effects of Concepts 190 

are clearly conceptualized haa profound effects upon the child*s 
awareness of himself and his relationships with others (pp. 
262-S6S). We shall pause here only to note McCarthy’s con- 
clusion concerning the effects of language on social development: 
** During the early preschool period when the child’s language 
is not yet very useful oa a means of communication, he is still 
definitely an individualist, and it is probably significant that a 
marked degree of socialization of behavior occurs during the 
later preschool period when language itself is becoming a more 
efficient means of intercommunication.” ** The development of 
language i*eaponaes as a means of intercommunication makes 
possible the child’s eventual grasp of reciprocal relationships 
with other people. 

The relationship between perceptual development and con- 
cept formation is at first so close that different opportunities for 
contact with the environment pi'oduce definite variations in the 
concepts formed. Thus, Bean reports that nearly 90 per cent 
of the concepts used by his child, who was nearly blind from 
birth, were derived “from tactual, nuditoiy, gustatory and 
motor senses- and the few visual ones that related only its light 
and color, which was all that he could sense before the oper- 
ations.” After the operations in which sight was restored, 
words that referred “to visual objects were rapidly added.” 
Varieties of experience and ^avri have also been found to be 
followed by a rapid increase in conceptual development.^^ And 
it is not unlikely that the differences in conceptual develop- 
ment found between children of different socio-economic classes 
may be in no small part affected by the differences in perceptual 
and practical situations presmited by their respective environ- 
ments. 

Initially, then, the child’s concepts follow the course of his 
perceptions, being at first largely undifferentiated and more or 
less dominated by his basic drives and wishes or desires. Many 
children, in their contacts with the external world, form con- 
cepts distinctly their own. For example. Watts reports that a 
16-months-old boy he observed had found “.that certain things 

** D. McCarthy, op, oit., p. SS0> 

M G. H. Bean, op. eit., p. Ifll. 

^ D. MoCart^, op, c^., pp. IS0 ff. 



SOO An Outline of Social Psychology 

in his environment wei'e sufiSdently alike for his puiposes to 
be conveniently referred to as yo-^os and that among the yo^os 
there existed a sub-class of go-gos.** The "yo-yos” were any 
portable objects with handles, while the "go-gos” had not only 
handles, but lids. Thus a foirty wide range of generalization, 
regulated by the child’s play interests, was possible. Children 
may continue to form and use their own distinctive concepts, 
pai'ticularly if their parents encourage them. Other parents, 
more anxious for their child to attain linguistic maturity, dis- 
com'age such individual activities early. At any rate, the child 
must eventually use the concepts as standardized in his society 
(for example, with their dictionary meanings), if he is to become 
an active participant in his group — ^for reciprocal communica- 
tion'con be carried on only on this basis. 

The possible range of stimuli to which a young child may give 
an equivalent response is extremely large. Tor example, it has 
been experimentally demonstrated that children under % years 
of age can generalize **chair** even to a folded chair, “boll” to 
a collapsed ball, rectaxigularity to a picture frame and to L* 
shaped figures.^ Whereas this Is possible for clearly pei'ceptible 
objects, it is more difficult lor Ihe young child in the case o! 
*'da88 ” or abstract concepts, even when the child is specifically 
trained in this direction.^ 

Only as the child develops, extends his experience, and uses 
concepts do they become increasingly specific, more rich in 
detail, and detached from immediate perceptuol situations. In 
Munn’s woixis: "It is quite evident . . . that words spoken by 
othei’s elicit increasingly fine differential reactions as the child 
grows older. Similarly, the use of words becomes hwreasingly 
discriminative. Both of these trends indicate that, as the child 
grows older, words are, to him, taking on o olom af^xmaikn 
to their fullest eonmntional represeiUaHve signifioance as this ha$ 
developed during Hie social history of the group** 

In his research on children’s concepts, Vigotsky found that 

^ A. F. Watts, op. eit., p. SS. 

^ L. Welch, The span of generalisation below the two year oge love], J, 
Ptffvkol., 1080, 08, SS0-SO7. 

^ L. Welch and L. lAng, The higher itruciuial phases of coiuiapt framation of 
cliildren, J. PsytAol., 1010, 0, 00-05. 

N. L. Munn, op. eif., p, S87. 



Formation and Effects of Concepts £01 

tlie qualities of objects were in'evocably connected with the 
objects themselves for preschool children. If a preschool child 
was persuaded to change the name of, say, “dog“ to *‘cow,*' he 
proceeded to talk of the object (the dog) as though it were a 
cow — Shaving horns, giving mOk, etc.^‘ But this **complete 
fusion’* of the perceptual and conceptual begins to break up 
as the child grows older, and the sq)aration increases with age. 
As he develops, the child becomes able to function psycho- 
logically on a conceptually S 3 rmbolic level. More and more, his 
concepts take on the standardized meanings of the group in 
which he lives. These meanings are simply generalizations which 
have been standardized by the gi'oup in their past interactions, 
and which serve to classify or categorize experience, both 
cognitive and affective. Henceforth, the individuara psycho- 
logical functions are regulated in general by these standardized 
concepts. And in particular, his reactions to social stimuli — 
his li^ and dislikes, his aspirations and loyalties — are regu- 
lated by norma or values, which ore special cases of the con- 
cepts of his group. 

L. 8. Vigotaky, op. oiUt P* 86. 



Attitudes 


Man’s Socialization Revealed Mainly Through Attitudes and 
Conforming Behavior 

AB WB SHALL ELABORATE} LATBR* ATTITUORS ARB FORMED IN 
relation to situations} persona, or groups with which, the in'* 
dividual comes into contact in the course of his development. 
Once formed, they demand that the individual react in a 
cJiaracieristic way to these or I’elated situations, persons, or 
groups. This ohoi'aeterifltic feature, which is inferred from be- 
havior (verbal or non-verbal), denotes a functional state of 
readiness in relation to stimulus situations which elicit it. For 
example, when we see a person or group of persons react to a 
flag with respect, we infer that they have an attitude toward 
the flag. When we see millions of people observe a certain day, 
say the Fourth of July, with certain words and deeds, we infer 
that they have an attitude toward that particular day. Like- 
wise, people’s preoccupation with and struggles toward obtain- 
ing certain objects (e.g., money), emulating certain persons (a 
superior, leader, actress, etc.), joining certain groups (union, 
college, ethnic group, nation, etc.), seeking certain social posi- 
tions, may be cited as indexes of major attitudes. These are not 
mere generalities — every one of them can be demonstrated 
in single members of the groups in question. For example, if an 
individual belonging to group A reacts unmistakably n^a- 
tively to an individual in group B without flrst forming an 
opinion about that person, we may say that he has on attitude 
of prejudice toward group B. If he is a "good member" of group 
A, very probably his attitude is shared by other "good mem- 
bers" who constitute the majority of people in that group. 

The above examples apply to social attitudes, but not all of 



Attitudes IJ03 

aQ individual*s attitudes are social. We develop attitudes in 
relation to any stimidus object or situation (social or non- 
sociaJ) with which we come into contact repeat^ly. Since thia 
invariably occurs afteTi say, a few encounters, we are seldom 
impartial in our reactions to situations or persons. We may de- 
velop a special hkiug for a particular bird, a special view, a spe- 
cial food. We may and do develop special likes and dislikes for 
friends, personal enemies, or rivals, for special events peculiar to 
ourselves and determined by our motives and individualities. 

Of course, oiir special concern m this book is with the soeiaC 
atHtudea. The feature that makes certain attitudes aoaial is that 
they are formed in relation to social stimulus situations; we 
have already mentioned this (Chapter 1). We saw there that 
social stimulus situations are persons, gmups, ,and the products 
of human interaction — ^material and non-material, i.e., tlie 
man-made enviromnent of things, technological devices, and 
values or norms. Attitudes formed in relation to these con- 
stitute the main body of what is socialized in man. The major 
feature that makes a man a good member of his particular 
reference group (be it a clique, a gang, a school, a church, a 
union, a nation) is the attitude he forms in relation to them. 
The concrete signs that give an individual the characteristic 
imprint of his groups and his culture (whatever this culture 
may be) ore, in terms of psychological units, the attitudes he 
reveals in conci'ete situations. For they ere the psychological 
products par excellence of his socialization, i.e., . his becoming 
a Frenchman, an Eskimo, a Hopi, an American, a Chinese, etc. 
Of course, the range of his attitudes as a good Frenchman, 
Eskimo, etc., is limited to tlie range of his receptivity. No one 
is subjected to all the social and cultural products of his group, 
especially in a society with some degree of differentiation, In 
short, man’s socialization is revealed mahily in bis attitudes 
formed in relation to the values or norms of his reference grou^ 
or groups. Many of these attitudes represent his sociogemc 
motives. His conception of the scope of his world, his standards 
of living, his aspirations toward wealth, women, and status 
are regulated, his goals ore set, by the prevailing hierarchy of 
social organization and norms of his group. H^ce his socio- 
genic motives end the regulation of his biogenic motives, ore 



g04 An Outliae of Social Psychology 

reflected in his social attitudes. Tlie main constituents of his 
ego are these attitudes. Although a fuller discussion of this 
will be given in Chapters 11 and la, the foregoing is suffici^t 
to indicate why attitudes have been a central theme for social 
psychologists, and why literally hundreds of papers (expen- 
mental and otherwise) htwre been devoted to the subject. 

Some behavioristically inclined social psychologists refer to 
attitudes os conforming behavior. They represent a social atti- 
tude by a curve, the J-curve,^ which graphically r^resents the 
distribution of the attitude in a representative sample of the 



Fig. 28. "Two theoretical behavior dUtributions and their mediooa. Dis- 
tributba A is J-ahaped, dirtribndon B is normal. The doited lines a and b 
represent the medians ^ the two distributions.** OBy permission from 
cholow fl* Work, edited by P. S. AchUlea, Copyri^ted, 1082, by the McGraw- 
Hill Book Company, hic.) 


1 See F. H. Allport, The J-curveb;poihes)i ot coofonniog behavior, J • Boo^ 
1084, S, 141-188. 


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Fid. 24. "Difllribution of pereentageB of 1,210 atudeota of the College of 
Liberal Arts of practise University upon the question of the eriatence end 

nature of the deity.” 

On 7 opinions obout tho nature of the deity (specified on the abscisu), 
distribution of Catholics approaches most closely the J-curve of coiiforjni^» 
Mpst divergent diatribntion is "No Church” subjects. Men’s opinions, solid ’ 
Unei ’women’s, brok^ line. ^ Allport, Siudttfft At- 

fdndss, Syracuse: The'Crnftsman Press.) 








206 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

group. Naturally, the majority of the members of the group 
reveal the social attitude in question and are lumped together 
at one end; the curve for the rest of the group tapers off to 
the other end, the degree of deviation increasing and the num- 
ber of cases decreasing as the curve moves toward the extremity. 

The concept, “conforming behavior,** is itself suggestive in 
relation to our discussion of social stimulus situations. The 
characterizing word, “conforming,** explicitly denotes that the 
beliavior is so designated in relation to a standard or norm. One 
cannot speak of conformity if there is no standard, no norm to 
conform to. As social psychoii^ists, we must make a special 
issue of the standard or norm of die growp in question if we do 
nob want to remain in complete confusion concerning tlie 
stimulus. Knowledge of the stimulus gives us a vantage 
point from whleli to examine the group in question and the 
prevailing norma in it. This knowledge prepares us, at the same 
time, to be aware, from the beginning, of the existence of vary- 
ing (and at times conflicting value frames and norms in 
different groups even in the same society. Evidence shows tliat 
standards and judgments ore subject to shifts, even for the same 
individual, with shifts in reference gi-oups (see pp. 130-156, and 
SOO-SOl). The quantification represented by the J-curve ac- 
quires much more meaning after such a methodological ap- 

As psychologists we are concerned also with the aspirations 
of the individual — ^with whether or not they find overt expres- 
sion in his behavior at a particulsr time. The aspirations that 
ore at all consequential relate to persons, groups, and other 
social situations. The range of their variety is determined by 
the prevailing range of values or norms of the social milieu. 
A sum like $100,000. is sinmly beyond the conception of wealth 
for a poor peasant. (See Chapter 16.) 'Whether individual or 
social, however, the same basic principles govern attitude for- 
mation and functioning. 

Some Principles at the Basis of Attitudes 

As we have seen, an attitude is inferred from the charaoter- 
isUot seUeUve nature of reaction to situations. In otlier words, 
reaction revealing the existence of on attitude in the individual 




Attitudes 807 

is not evoked alone by the properties of the external stimulus. 
The characteristic or selective nature of reaction is a function of 
the factors within the individual himself; there is implied a 
functional 8Uii$ of readineaa in relation to the stimuli in ques- 
tion. Hence, the psychology of attitudes consists of accounting 
for this established state of readiness. It is embedded in the 
general selectivity of the whole organism. For example, per- 
ception, judgment, learning, remembering, etc., are highly 
selective affairs, being jointly determined by the state of the 
organism at the time and the properties of the stimulus field. 
Organisms are hardly ever impartial to their environment. 
To take the state of the organism first — ^the motivated or emo- 
tional condition, prior stimulation, fatigue, drowsiness, per- 
sonal involvement, etc. — all these factors influence perception, 
judgment, learning, remembering, thinking, and make him 
selective to various degrees depending on the intensity of the 
factors producing the state, l^tablished attitudes also have 
differential effect on all these processes. As for the stimulus, 
the degree of compellingness of the stimulus field (such as a 
loud noise, a perfect form) decreases the effects of selectivity 
as determined by internal factors. We shall return to this point 
later (pp. 224-227). 

It is, then, evident that attitudes alone do not account for 
the states of readiness determining a characteristic or selective 
type of response. Thei-e are differ^t kinds of states of readiness. 
Attitudes denote those which are leaimed (formed) in relation 
to definiteetimuli (objects, persons, situations, values, ornorms) 
and which are more or less lasting. (This differentiates an atti- 
tude from a momentary motivational or emotional state.) 
Therefore, attitudes always imply, a aubjeci-objeci rehlionship. 
The object of on attitude is of value to tlie individual. This 
affective property of an attitude is due either to the intrinsic, 
direct, or ^'instrumental” motivational appeal of the stimulus 
(such os food, a sex object, mother, milk bottle, a period of 
romance) or to the socially invested stamp of- rolus on the 
stimulus. ITor example, in itself a flag is a piece of cloth of 
some color. The value of the flag in the eyes of the individual is 
derived from the socially standardized value attributed to it. 
A great many attitudes are formed in' relation to social yalues 



S08 An Outline of Social Psychology 

or norms. Attitudes concerning the nation, family, or constitu* 
tion are examples. These are usually incorporated in the indi- 
vidual throu^ short-cut value judgments supplemented with 
all sorts of correctives in cases of deviations from the norm. The 
value judgments encompass a gi^eat many stimuli in their range 
C^ext^sion’*). Consequently, an attitude based on such a 
value judgment will be tapped by any stimulus related to it. 
For example, on attitude of prejudice toward “foreigners** in 
America will embrace diverse kinds of individuals who are re- 
lated to the attitude in various degrees. It has become an 
established fact that the meanings of concepts (including value 
concepts) are immediate and do not require the recurrence of 
specific past associations. 

Now, having differentiated attitudes from other kinds of 
states of readiness, we may return to an account of the prin- 
ciples underlying them. For, unlike judgment or pei'ception, an 
attitude does not denote a distinct psychological phenomenon; 
it is a composite formation based on various factors. 

Since attitudes are psychological formations learned in the 
course of the individual's development, a genetic stavi will 
be most helpful in understanding the underlying principles. As 
we elaborated at some length earlier (Chapter 8, pp. 51-00), 
the first vakies of the infant are stimuli which directly satisfy or 
are instrumental in satisfying his biogenic needs. As the c^ld 
grows, he builds up attitudes (positive and negative) in re- 
lation to other objects, persons, or groups which may or may 
not have a bearing on his biogenic needs. As formulated by 
Tolman, “Instrumental values, however, are attached not only 
to the final environmental consummatory and evoking situ- 
ations but also to (ndinarUy ueutral erwironmentcU objects (or 
situations) in so far as these iattei* come to serve as consistent 
means or hindrances towards consummatory situations or away 
from the evoking situations.” * 

The infant is first so dominated by his momentary organic 
needs (food, sleep, etc.) that he is, in Gresell’s words, “socially 
deaf and blind** to the provocations of social stimuli around 
him, inclading people and even the mother who feeds him. He 

' B. C. Tolman. Motivation, learning and adjuitment. Froo, Amtr, PhUot. Soo.« 
1041. 84, p. S51 (fii^ it^ee ibIiuC 



Attitudes ^09 

does not respond in a discmninatory or perceptive way to ob- 
jects or persons around him exc^t as they satisfy or prevent 
satisfaction of the dominant need of the moment. As Lewin 
says» *'Eor the infant of a few weeks or months the valences 
[^e values] depend essentially on his own needs and their 
momentary condition. If he does not want a food he cannot be 
moved by psychological means to eat it. He simply spits it 
out.** ® 

As he grows older, he is made to observe routine practices 
and good manners (for his age) through power, prestige, 
momentary inclination to do things that others are doing, or 
through pliysiological habits. Be has aa yet to develop attitudes 
which he will consider his— attitudes which he will feel on urge 
to observe without any external pressure or coercion. In order 
to be able to achieve this, he hu first to reach the level of 
psychological functioning at which he is able to delineate what 
is subjective (i.e., what is his whim, desire, or wish) and what 
is objective reality (physical phenomena, the point of view of 
others, natural laws, social standards, norms, etc.) For, as 
made evident in the extensive studies of Piaget, the infant 
up to a ceitain age of development cannot distinguish what is 
mere desire and whim and vdiat is reality outside of him 
(physical and social). His own psychological world consists so 
dominatingly of his needs and desires that objects, persons, 
and the rest of his surroundings, are (to him) merely means 
for satisfying his ever-changing whims. Hence the lac^ of de- 
lineation between fantasy, wi^, and reality. It is not a coin- 
cidence that the definitions of simple, already Jesmed words 
expected of a three-year-old on standard intelligence tests (e.g., 
Stonford-Binet) are based on use, i.e., the way these objects 
ore instrumental to him. He is unable to grasp and retain 
socially standardized rules, or norms. To achieve uiis he has to 
be able to stick, with at least some consistency, to some point 
of view required by a rule or standard which may be at odds 
with his own mercurial needs. Similarly, for the same reason, 
he cannot cony on, for any appi'eciable time, give-and-take 

* K. Lewin, “Environmeiktnl Forces In Child Behavicw anil Development," In 
C. Mdrchison (ed.), A Htmdbooh qf CMJd Ptpohalogt/, Worcester: Clark Dnivecaity 
Prooa, 1031, p. 101. 



210 An Outline of Social Psychology 

relationships 'with other individuals, including other children 
because this requires seeing himself and the o^er person from 
the points of view of both. 

Consequently, the child cannot as yet have consistent social 
attitudes outside of hia attachments and aversions to things 
and persons based on the fulfillment or hindrance of his needs. 
Social attitudes, which ore derived from established standards 
or rules, require conformity whether or not they are in line 
with the ups and downs of one’s desires at the moment. To 
achieve conformity to a rule or standard requires a level of 
psychological development which diatinguislies whim from 
redity (social and physical). This level is reached by the 
development of the ego, wi^ resistances met socially and 
physically, and participation in group activities, particularly 
with age-mates. We shall elaborate on this in later chapters. 
Fuller implications of these developmental stages will emerge 
forcibly in the discussion of ^up prejudice (Chapter 14), but 
we may mention in passing that it is only after some degree of 
ego development, a stage at which the main social anchorings 
of the individual are established, that "race” prejudice be- 
comes for him what it is for his group. 

The foregoing pai'agiaphs give only the main points of the 
general developmental picture in which attitudes ai^e formed. 
We have yet to treat specifically the selective role of perception 
and judgment in which the selectivity of the attitude is em- 
bedded. 

The selectivity of perceiving, judging (discriminating), and 
other major processes comes out strikingly, if we again start 
with the reactions of the infant. As we have seen before (Chap- 
ter 3, pp. 53 ff.), a child’s earliest perceptions and discrimi- 
nations are centered in the objects and persons that have 
something to do, du*ectly or indirectly, with the satisfaction of 
his needs. He can be led to make finer discriminations if we 
succeed in arousing hia biogenic motives to do so. The same is 
true of language development. His vocabulary and its growth 
are linked with his motives. In short, children’s early cognitive 
functions (perceptions, discrimination, learning, etc.), as wdl 
as other functions, ore at first dominated almost completely by 
his needs (motives), whidi render them highly, well-nigh 



Attitudes ^11 

exclusively, selective. The selectivity of cognitive functions as 
well as othei^ functions is npt peculiar to (^ildren. Perceiving, 
judging, remembering, function selectively on the adult level 
too» as determined by biogenic needs and sociogenic motives.* 

The above discussion, together with the main line of evidence 
that stood out in our discussion of motives (Chapters 2-4), 
helps us to clarify our understanding of the aelectmty revealed 
in perception, judgment, and other functions. It became c[uite 
evident that perceiving, discriminating, learning, etc., are not 
uni*elated functions in the psychology of the individual. They 
are determined not only by the properties of the external field 
alone, but also by the internal factors (needs, attitudes, previ- 
ous stimulation, etc.). Under the grip of intense motivation 
and attitudinal seta, internal factors may enter as hTniting fac- 
tors, especially if the external situation is vague or unstruc- 
tured. The widespread use of projective techniques (Rorschach 
and others) and ^eir at times r^arlcable predictive value pro- 
vide major evidence for the point. 

There is no way, psychologically, of detecting factors of 
motivation other than by their unmistakable differential effects 
on perception, learning, and other functions. The motivational 
factors (e.g., stomach contractions, depletion of water, accum- 
ulation of sex honnonea) or the physiological humoral state 
produces (directly or indirectly) a '‘central motive state.” The 
"central motive state,” in turn, plays a dominant role in de- 
termining the perceptions, discriminations, learning that are 
taking place at the time. Iherefore, when one talks about the 
aeleolwity of perception, learning, etc., one is really talking 
most of the time about the effects of motivational factors (sex, 
food, attitude, etc.). Unless we ai'e working on the physiological 

* The works of Bartlett,' Murpby and Levine, Muki^ Seelcman, Clerk, Sanford, 
and Guetakow and Bowman may be cited to this effect from an ever nccumulaUng bulk 
of evidenco. See F. C. Bartlett, Rm*mbmngs A Sfudjf m E^ffrimcntal and SoaUil jPty- 
ohology, Cambridge: University Freaa, ISSS; J. Levine and G. Murphy, The learn- 
ing and forgetting of controversial material, J. Abn. & 8oe. Pepeftoi., 1S4S, 88, S07-ffl7; 
E. Marks, Skin color jndgRienlB of Negro college atudents, J. Abn. d 8co. Pspoftet, 
1948, S8, 870-S7S; V. Sceleman, The InSuence of attitude upon the remembering of 
pictorial material, Aroh. P«ya/iol., 1040, 2S8; E. B. Clnrk, Some factors Influendng the 
remembering of prose material, Arch. Ptychol., 1940, 289; B. N. Sanford, The effects 
of abstinence from food upon iniaginal processes, J.PiyoM,, 1086, 2, 189-180, and 1087, 
8, 146-189: H. S. Guotakow. and P. H. Bowman, Men and Hunger, Elgin, Bl.: Brethren 
Publishing Hous^ 1046. 



S12 An Outline of Social Psychology 

level (i.e., dealing directly with honnone factors, voi'ious de- 
pletions, etc.)> there is no way of. dealing with motives other 
than to take differential findings of various psychological 
phenomena os their indexes. This is, in fact, what depth** 
psychologists (e.g., psychoanalysts) are constantly doing. In 
spite of their scorn of surface data, they are constantly using 
tiny bits of surface phenomena (various kinds of slips, se- 
lective forgetting, preoccupation with ceitoin symbols, etc.) as 
indexes of the dramatic depth-phenomena complexes, "libido,** 
in&ntile sexuality, etc. 

On the basis of these considerations, we have in mind pri- 
mai*ily the motivational factors when we talk about the 
seleetivUy of perception, judgment, etc. We have already dis- 
cussed briefly the role of these factors in tlie selectivity of 
perception, judgment, memory, etc. To r^eat, as the seUolmly 
of attitudes is embedded in the selectivity of pei'ceptual and 
judgmental processes in general, we do not have to moke a special 
issue of the motivational components involved in an attitude. 
As concisely expressed by Toiman, "... purposiveness and 
cognitiveness seem to go together.** ^ 


Some Relevant Facts at the Basis of Attitudes 

We just said that the selectivity of attitudes is embedded in 
the selrctivity of perception and judgment. Now, since atti- 
tudes are formed in relation to stimuli, and since the first 
encounter of the individual with any stimulus is a perceptual 
one, some r^evant facta from the psychology of perc^Uon are 
in order. And as attitudes are discriminatory affairs, certain 
findings in the psychology of judgment are necessary for a 
clarification of these composite formations, i.e., attitudes. 

Of course, as vigorously emphasized by Doob recently, 
attitudes are learned.* Without learning, there would be momen- 
tary sets only, and no attitude formation. At present, we shall 
accept these formations in an empirical way as results of lemm- 
ing processes. The problems of just what the learning mecha- 

■ £. C. Tolmanj FvrpoHw BtikiwoT w Animak and Mm, New York: Appleton- 
Century, 1682, p.l8. 

> L. W. Doob, Tlie behavior 61 attitudei, Ps)fch6l. Bm., 1047, 64, 1^6-166. 



Attitudes gig 

nisms are, how many repetitions or "reinforcements” are 
necessaiy for such a complicated product as an attitude, how 
much disuse will cause an attitude to fade out, and other 
learning problems, are at present beyond our scope. The psy- 
chology of learning seems to be still in a highly controversial 
state especially in relation to complex topics. It will not help 
social psychologists (os yet) to take sides with a learning theory 
no matter how vigorous it may appear at first. In dealing with 
social attitudes we ore dealing with highly complicated phe- 
nomena peculiar to the human level. Besides lire structural 
properties of simple judgments and pei'ceptions, functions at the 
abstract symbolic (conceptual) level are involved. In the mean- 
time, we must eagerly follow the developments in learning 
theoiy, anticipating the filling in of the important bracket of 
learning mechanisms. The improvisations of learning theory by 
social psychology have not been happy ones.*^ An adequate p^- 
chology of learning that con be extended to social psychology 
will be one which takes into full account the structural proper- 
ties of perception and judgment on the symbolic level. . . 

That stimuli do not have absolute stimulating value haa 

* Tb« followiag import of conditioniog ob hunUtn aubjocbi giTw a coocreU idea of 
tbe Impllcationa of uncritlcolljr carcying the findtngi qu labJiumon animals to tiie 
human level, especially In social psychology where we ere dealing with retatiooshipi 
of a symbolio and abstract nature: "It has been found that the oondiUohed salivary 
response in human subjects is erratic and not predictable from the perticular properties 
of the sUmuIi and the amount (tf training. Basran (1085) found that alfhougb noariy 
all of hia subjects showed some signs of conditioning, it was often qioxadio and variable 
(cf. L. F. Jones, IflSO). Thus one subjoot might give oonsistently large secretions, 
another almost none, and a third notuelly give a decreBso in the flow of saliva in r»> 
oponie to the conditioned stimulus. The same subjpot might react differently when in 
die presence of a group, than when alone, ond roaulte might be quite iMerent on suo- 
ceisive cloys. On ^ MsUmfitlon that the nature of the condltknied r^ponse which a 
Bubjoct yielded was to be attributed to his attitude, Oaenui attempted to control the 
attitude experhnentaliy by specific instructions. When subjects -were directed to form 
AMBn fii fttlona between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli the req)0nse9 were 
greater and more stable than when iostmctioni not to form certain associations were 
given. On the otim hand, when the establishment of such determiniiig attitudes was 
prevented by formog the subjects to eoncentrste on the task of learning a nlanttal maw' 
while the cond» tio"iwg stimuli were presented, the resulting eonditiOned response showed 
a regular progressive nsqultition and stable relioble magnitude CRasran, 1086a). In 
later studies, hg niMtading A$ tulijeoU vUh rttp&a to tko purpow qf tiu eitptrmaii, 
Basron (10801) hae been able to secure relativ^ inyoluntaiy salivary conditioning 
which much more near^ follows the rules to be expected from Pavlov." E. R. Hilgdrd 
and D. G. MArquis, Conditioning and Looming, New York: A^leton-Century, 1940, 
pp. SOl-SOO (italics mine}.' 



214 An Outline of Social Psychology 

become dmost a truism. This holds in the case of lelatively 
simple perceptual phenomena even without the inclusion of 
moUvaiional factors in the picture. 

Take a cardboard of uniform orange color about 2 feet long 
and 1 foot wide. Cover half of it with a black paper and look 
at the uncovered orange part steadily for some minutes — then 
remove the black cover. For some time the covered part will 
appear a different shade of orange from the other part. In the 
same way, a shade of gray may look darker or brighter accord- 
ing to the white or black sun*oundings, or the general pattern 
in which, or beside which, it is found. The same tone may 
seem different when alone and when preceded or followed by 
other tones in a melody. Within limits, a sound is judged high 
or low, a weight heavy or light, not only in accordance with its 
absolute physical value, but also in accordance with the back- 
ground of sounds or weights that precede, 

In these examples, we get different reactions to the same 
stimuli without preparing ourselves consciously to get them. 
On the contrai'y, we often have to force ourselves to destroy 
these varioble reactions, and we do not always succeed. 

But there are coses in which our anticipations and attitudes 
play an important part in determining our perceptions, es- 
pecially if the external field of stimulation is not well structured. 
For example, different people may see different forms in indefi- 
nite ink blots or as they look at patches of clouds. On a dark 
night we may see all sorts of animats or inanimate fonns as we 
walk past an old cemetery, 

Psychologists usually use ambiguous figures to demonsti'ate 
the point. To give some well-known examples: In the same 
picture there may be hidden the outlines which permit seeing 
either a vase or two profiles (Fig. %S). In anotlier picture thei'e 
may be seen either a withered old woman or a smoi'tly di’essed 
young woman. Now in the first picture you will see either the 
vase or the two profiles first, depending largely upon whether 
you ore prepared to see the one or the other. Also, as we re- 
ported from a concrete study, moUvational factors may effect 
such reversals (Chapter .4, pp. 70-72). The same thing is 
true of the picture showing the old or the young woman* 
Ordinarily you see one or the other; they do not mix. The one 



AtUtudea 



Fio. When wo see a Tase* the shape atands out deaTly> the rest formiDg 
the background. When we see two profiles, the contours of the faces are con- 
spicuous in the foreground, and aspects that are not relevant to the profiles ' 
recede into the background.' (From B. Rubin,) ' 

you see, vajse or\ profile, old woman or youug woma|L> as the 
case may be, stands out with clear contour, and the rest of the 
picture remains in the background. These and other cases of 
perception suggest that, whether external conditions- ore well 
and definitely structured or not, we ordinarily es^erience not 
confus;lon, but forms and shapes and other definite total struc- 
tures. These are not arbitrary affairs;' they are d^endent on tiie* 
lawful interplay of internal and external factors. ' 

Fi*dm these considerations we may generalize- that even in 
the case of relatively simple stimulus objects there is no point- 




216 An Outline of Social Psychology 

to-point correlation between the stimulus and what it arouses 
in lis. Each time it stimulates it may not arouse the same effect. 
The effects are deteimined not only by the discrete physical 
stimulus, but by its place among other stimuli and internal 
conditions in us at the moment. 

Now we may go one step finther. Different persons may 
notice diffei*ent characteristics of the some stimulus field. Lines 
and colors may be dominant for one man and ignored by 
another. It is not enough to have bright stars above you in 
oi*der to notice and enjoy the constellations. Some do not notice 
the constellationa that others do; and the groupings that ore 
mode vary somewhat from man to man and from culture to 
culture. Each culture emphasizes different aspects of the field, 
so that the field may take on altogether different modes of 
organization. 

A wcU-lcnown line of research may furnish us with a simple 
experimental demonstration of this principle. We refer to the 
experiments in Kiilpe’a laboratory on the influence of Aufyabe 
(task or instruction) on perception of the stimuli presented.^ 
In these experiments, begun in 1000, he briefly presented his 
subjects with different stimuli, such as printed syllables, shout 
which, different aspects or ** dimensions*' could be reported, 
e.g., the numher of letters involved, the location of the colors, 
or the total 'pattern composed by them. Killpe found that more 
items were noted and more correct judgments made by the 
subject about that asx>ect of the stimuli which hod been empha- 
sized by the Avfgahe. The subjects noticed more fully and in 
more detail the aspects of the stimulus field that they hod set 
themselves to see. Subsequently Yokoyama and Chapman 
verified £(!llpe*s results.* All these experiments indicate that 
“ the efficiency of report for all tasks is lower under on indefinite 
Aufgahe than under a definite insti'uctiozi.” 

Even without such sets produced by deliberate instructions, 
our reactions to stimuli oi'e not discrete, disjointed affairs. 
They derive tlieir special significance in relation to reference 

' 0. Kttlpo, Versuche abet Abstraktion, Bericht iMsr dea 1. iTonpreM^ espermBTi- 
P9U^ob)git, 1004, SM8. 

* YokoyaiDA, reported by E. 6. Boriog, Attribute ourl MnnUon, Amw: J. PaychoLt 
1004, 85, 801-304; and D. W. Chapoma, Itelative efleets of determinAto and Indoter- 
intnate Aufgaben, Amer, J, Ptytihol,, 1982, 44, 168-174. 



Attitudes gl7 

frames (scales) and points to which they are functionallv re- 
lated. 

PorceptionB, Judgments, and Ollior Major Phenomena Take 
Place Within Reference Frames 

Experience appears to depend always upon relations. Im- 
mediately the question presents itself; What sort of relations? 
Pei'ception, conceived as illustrative of experience in general, 
is the result of the organization of external and internal stimu- 
lating factoi's that come into functional I'elationship at a given 
Factors that come into such functional relationships 
are interdependent; they aJiect each other, and the properties 
of any factor are determined partly by the properties of other 
factors. In this sense we can say that the exter^ and internal 
factors that come into relationship form a functional whole. 
The reality of such functional wholes is amply demonstrated 
by experiment. For example, the brilliance of a patch of gray 
or the apparent tempei-ature of an object depends, within 
limitSi upon the bi-illiaacies or tempei'atm'es to whidi the 
organism has been reacting. 

The relational whole in our perceptions, judgments, and 
other experiences involves definite frames of reference. These 
frames of refei'ence prove to be, not arbitrary abstractions from 
the experience, but fundamental characteristics of eveiy 
situation consisting of external and internal factors which form 
a functional whole. When we say “up,” ,we mean “up** . in 
relation to something t^t is below. When we say "far,” we 
mean far in reference to something near. , 

The frame of refei'ence seems to be a concept of great im- 
portance in psychology, for facts implied in it reveal^ them- 
selves persistently in Ernest every field of experimentation: in 
perception, judgment, memory, ^ectivity, etc. Here we have 
to restrict presentation of evidence to a few basic fields, viz.} 
the sensory field, judgment, and perception. 

In Hie Sensory Field. We find evidence like the following 
in any textbook on general psychology. Fill three vessels with 

^0 See yf. ICBMer, Ontalt Ptyekohgy, New York: Liveright, IfiSa eepeciBlly chaps. 
SaadO. 



218 An Outline of Social Psychology- 

water, one hot, one lukewarm, and one cold. Immerse one 
hand in hot water, the other in cold water for a couple of 
minutes, and then immerse both hands in the water of medium 
temperature. This same medium temperature will feel cool to 
tlie hand coming from the hot water, and warm to the one 
coming from the cold water. In relation to cold a medium tem~ 
perature is experienced as warm; in relation to hot the same 
temperature is experienced as cool. Stimulation by cold or hot 
causes shifts, within limits, in the physiological zero or indiffer- 
ence point. This fact, one of the striking demonstrations of 
the phenomenon of ^'adaptation,** is due to a physiological 
process (studied by Adrian and others). The sense organs first 
react to stimulation with all the energy at their disposal at the 
moment. If the stimulation continues, the strength of the 
reaction deci*eases. Prom moment to moment, tlie organ thus 
excited reacts diffei'ently to the same objective stimulation. 
In this process we find a physiological basis for the differences 
in reactions to the same stimulus field. This rough description 
will suffice to illustrate that the underlying processes in all 
our cases (and in all experience) are physiological. With this 
principle in mind, we may hope the physiologists will some 
day determine the neurological basis that underlies all our ex'* 
perience. But until then we have plenty of work to do on our 
own level of description. The physiologists* findings will not 
change the established relationships on our own level of -work, 
but will teach ua the neurological dynamics of our facts. 

The principle implied in the different experiences excited by 
the same temperature can be illustrated by visual adaptation. 
When we come from tlie light into a dark room, the blackness 
will be intense; and when we have been in the dark for some 
time, ouv study light will appear very bright. A medium gray 
will appear darker after looking at bright objects, and, con- 
versely, the same gray will seem brighter after looking at dark 
objects. These are well-known cases of ''successive contrast.** 
Likewise, in cases of simultaneous contrast, a gray patch is 
lighter against a black backgi^und, and vice versa. 

The f'i'ench psychologist Henri studied localization on the 
skin over a period of years (1892-1897). He first carried on his 
experiments at the Sorbonne in 1892-1804 (imder the direction 



Attitudes 219 

of Binet) and continued them at Leipzig in 1894. The results 
caused hM to conclude that there are certain parts of the body, 
such as joints, that form a frame of reference for localization. 
Spots are localized in terms of distance from these parts of the 
body. The errors of localization cannot be interpreted without 
recognizing the role of the ref^’ence points involved. In his 
own words, ** Almost always the eiTor of localization is com- 
mitted in the direction of the points of reference (-paitiis de 
rephre) which the subject uses in the localization of the spot 
touched.** “ He further reported that when the subject used 
one reference point (point de repkre or Aniialiepunkt) within a 
cutaneous area, there appeared a conetancy in the direction of 
eri’ors. With the shift of refei'ence there appears a correspond- 
ing shift in the direction of the errors of localization.^* 

In Jndgmeni, An especially striking illustration of the role 
of the frame of reference appears in a basic and much elaborated 
field ofpsycliology — psychophysics, thestudy of thepsycliology 
of discrimiilation and judgment in response to stimuli which are 
parts of a quantitative continuum, l^e accumulating work on 
the ''absolute judgment,” or estimate of a single stimulus, 
shows that in psychophysical judgments the use of a standard 
stimulus for each comparison is not needed to permit Hie ohsmer 
to give a judgment about each stimulw in the series. After a few 
rounds of preaentatwn, observers establish a scale; the position 
of a stimulus is judged against the background of that scaU. A 
case reported by Wever and Zener is pertinent. Using the 
method of ^'absolute judgment*’ or sin^e stimuli, they gave 
an observe!' a "light” series of weights (84, 88, 9S, 90 and 100 
grams) \ uf ter this sei’ies had become an " established ” scale for 
the observer, they suddenly introduced, a "heavy ** series (95j 
96, 100, 104 audios grams). "The effect of the first series on the 
judgments of the second was quite evident for 20 or 20 presenta- 
tions, i.e., for four or five rounds judgments of the ‘heavy^ 
predominated for all stimuli; from this point on, however, ike 
judgments shoieed a redistribution conforming to the second 

V. Henri, Becterchu eur U localisation das aensatioDB tactilei, Atmit 
1S85, S. 3S8-177. 

» V. Henri, fiber die LakaUntion du Tattemjdindungen, Berlin: Beuther, 1B07, 
pp. 87-88. 



220 An Outline of Social Psychology 

stimulus series/’ In other words, when for a stimulus (e.g., 96 
gram) the light series ” (SJrlOO grams) is the frame of reference, 
ike stimulus is experieneed as heaay, but when the same stimulus ts 
related to a heavy series, it is experienced as light. 

Wells found same general principle to be operative in an 
experiment in which he asked his subjects to arrange a sei'ies of 
aesthetic stimuli in ordei* of their preferences. He comments 
that “if A and B arranged 10 pieces of music in order of prefer- 
ence, the orders would center about each individual’s own 
standard but if A, B, C, D, etc., arranged ten graduated 
weights, the orders would theoretically all center about a com- 
mon standard, the objective order of heaviness/’ 

Hollingworth found comparable effects depending upon the 
establishment of a naedian value in the compaiison of sizes. 
“In the experiment on sensible discrimination we become 
adapted to the median value of the series, tend to expect it, 
to assimilate all other values toward it, and to a greater or 
less degree to substitute it for them.” 

During the last decade, extensive investigations were con- 
ducted showing one way or another the rderential nature of 
judgments. Por example, Long studied the effect of preceding 
stimuli upon the judgments of succeeding stimuli. He found 
that the values of succeeding stimuli were appi'eciably altered 
by earlier stimuli.^® 

Particularly interesting for us is the work of Rogers. Using 
a scale of weights in one experiment, Rogers showed the un- 
mistokable effect of ^perimentally introduced I'eference points 
on the whole scale and on the individual stimuli in the scale. 
As the reference point is carried away from the scale upward, it 
e^qjands the scale to a certain point, and as the reference point 
is moved down into the scale it causes the scale to shrink.^’^ 

B. G. Wover and 1C. B. Zener, Method of absolute judgment in paychophyalca, 
Ptffoho!. Ra., loss. S5, no, 0, 47fi ff. 

^ F. L. TVellB, On the Variability of Individual Judgment, Ssaays Ph^oiophi^ and 
Papcftologteol in Honor qf James, by hia Ci^eofrues oi Columbia UmBsrstty, 

New York: longman^ Green, 1008, p. 152, 

H. I(. BoUingvoitb, Journal c/ Pkilaiopkff, P^hology and SoiarUgio JtfslAodr, 
1010,7, 408. 

M L. Long, A study of the effect of preceding stimuli upon the judgments of audi- 
tory inteiuities, Andt. P^/ehtd. 1087, no. SOO. 

S. Rogers, The anchoring of absolute judgments, Arek, Payohd.. 1041, no. S61. 



Attitudes 221 

McGarvey substantiated this finding using verbal mate- 
rial.« ^ 

It would be one-sided to emphasize only the effect of refer- 
ence points on the frame to which they are rolated4 The range 
of the frame and the degree of strength of the frame in the 
individual will certainly have an effect on the reference point 
inti'oduced. One new development in this field will be the study 
of the reciprocal effects of reference frames and points* 

In this connection, Tresselt*a work on the influence of prac- 
tice in forming a scale of judgment is particularly interesting.^* 
It directly connects the work on reference frames with learning. 
Tresselt had her subjects practice first with a given scale of 
weights. After vaiious degrees of practice (learning) with this 
scale, she introduced a new scale. She found (a) that the 
practiced scale had a significant effect at first in the judgments 
of the values of the new scale until the subject adjusted himself 
to it, end (b) that, ** there is a definite effect of different 
amounts of practice*’ upon the new series. **The greater the 
amount of practice, the more slowly does the scale of judgment 
shift to its new position” (p. 260). This finding demonstrates 
the experience of individuals during the period of adjustment to > 
new sun'OT^ndings. and the difficulty that the people with rigidly 
established routines undergo in maJdng such adjustments. 

In Perception, Gestalt psychologists furnish an infinite 
number of instances of '’anchoring*' {VeratikeTung). They in- 
sist on the member-character of a part witliin an organised 
structure. Thus Wertheimer demonsti’ated that a line is ox-> 
pericnced as horizontal or vertical in refer^ce to the position 
of othei* things in the field of stimulation.** If the observer’s' 
visual field was objectively slanted by means of a mirror, a 
similarly slanted .objective line tended to appear vertical, indi- 
cating that the position of on object is perceived in its relation 
to the whole organized field. ICoffka has mode a i^ecial issue of 
the notion of "member-character” and VeraT^erangepunkte 

H. R. McGarvey, Anchoriog eSecti in the abaoluta Judginrat of verbal matcri^ ' 
Aroh, i’lyoAoI., 1049, no. 281. 

M. R. Traselt, The inOucnce of nmouat of practice upon the {otiiiaUod of a scale 
of judgment, /. Ezprr, PmAoi., 1M7, 9, 291-200. 

‘0 Mv Wectbelmer, Dr»AhHmd\ungtn suf QnUdUtheori^, PhUoaophiache AV ade ml ^ 
Erlangen, 1025, pp. OS-00. 





An Outline of Social Psychology 


((inchorage points), and the importance of the ground for the 
figure, He summai'izes the facts and the argument on this point 
by saying: . . All this means that a definite single position 
exists only within a fixed spatial level. If the conditions for the 
formation of such a level ai*e absent, localization is no longer 
possible; for just as the level grows unstable, so does the single 
point within it.** 

In discussing the ground (in relation to figure) he wiites: 

. . The ground has a veiy important function of its own; it 
serves as a general level (niveau) upon which the figure appears. 
Now figure and ground form a ati*ucture, conseciuently the 
former cannot be independent of the lattei*. On the contrary, 
the quality of the figui*e must be lai'gely determined by the 
general level upon which it appears. This is a universal fact, 
observed in such products of culture as fashion and style. The 
same dress which is not only smart, but nice to look at, almost 
a thing of beauty, may become intolerable after the mode has 
passed’* (p. 506). 

This fact suggests directly the relationship involved in figure 
and ground, first studied extensively by E. Kubin and much 
emphasized by Gestalt psychologists. In the stimulus field, a 
part is organized into the figure and stands out with definite 
shape or form, segregated with clear-cut boundaries or contours ; 
the rest foims the background upon which the figure appears. 
The picture on page 9X6 is a good illustration of the point. 
Wlien one sees in it a vase, the shape of tlie vase stands out with 
its own definite contours; when, on the other hand, two profiles 
facing each other are seen, the contoui's of the vase slip to the 
background and the faces ix>p into the foreground, displaying 
the distinct contours of the profiles. 

The resolution of the stimulus field into figui’e and ground 
has been shown experimentally by the present writer to hold 
on a simple social level os well as with figui’es such as presented 
in our example. In this experiment the subjects were seated in 
a room in whidi material spoken in a different room could be 
heard through a loud-speaker. Two short stories of approxi- 
mately equal length and dealing with similar topics were read 


K. Koffka, Perception: an IntroducUos to Gestalt^theorie, PrycM. lOSS, 
ID. S70. 



Attitudes 


simultazLeously. One of the stories came throngh the loud- 
speaker; the other one was read by a person in the same room 
with the subjects. After the reading the subjects were asked to 
write down whatevei* they could remember of the two stories. 
The result was not the confusion of the two stories coming to 
their ears simultaneously; but, in a great majority of casesi 
one story was picked up and heai‘d in a meanin^ul way as the 
whole story to the end. These results mdieate that when two 
meaningful materials are presented to the ears simultaneously, 
one meaningful unity is picked up and followed in such a way 
that it forms a continuous whole; the other material forms the 
background, perhaps a more or less disturbing one in our 
particular case. Por our present puriioses it does not matter 
which of the stories was picked up more often — that of the 
reader or that from the loud-speaker. The results reported above 
were substantiated later by experiments of 6. Houghton,** 

Nevei'theless, figure and ground are not independent; eacli 
influences the properties of the other. In a public place you may 
be absorbed in cpnvGi'sation with a friend and may be directly 
noticing only his face and his woids. But the general striictum 
of the background, the gaiety or solemnity of the group, the 
quietness or noise around you, will have an effect on you and 
your friend despite your absorption in each other. Koffka^s 
words, “The ground serves as a general level (niveau) upon 
which the figure appears.” 

The grov^ is especially important in social psychology. 
Group studies would gain much more significance, os we have 
indicated in Chapter 6, if the subtle relationship between the 
figure and the background wem taken into consideration. For 
example, when two people ore talking in a public place, their 
conversation and behavior ore tinged by the properties^ of the 
whole “atmosphere.” 

The evidence on the referential nature of our reactions can 
be piled up indefinitely from other fields also — ^memory,** 

** These experiments ore reported in H. Cantril nnd G. W. Allpoit's Thi Psythohn 
qf Radio, New York: Herper, 1986, p. 160. 

** For example, see'T. Ribot, Ditwii oifMtmorif, London: Appleton, IBOS; 
wacha, Im eardw momus dt la Librarie F61is Alcaa 1925; F. C. Bartlett, 

Remomberingt A Study in and Soeidl Psy^alogjf, Camhrid^: ‘University 

Fteas, 1682. 



aft4 An Outline of Social Psychology 

affectivity," personality, etc. In the next chapters, we shall 
present evidence (from the investigations of Chapman and 
Volkmatm, Sears, Himmelweit, and others) showing that our 
aspirations and goals are also referential affairs. 

DifFercntiol Effects of Structured and Unstructured Stimulus 
Situations 

We have already had occasion to refer to the differing effects 
of the degree to which, the external field ia structurccL Before 
giving a concise experimental demonati'ation of the formation 
of an attitude, we must remind ourselves of the implications of 
these differential effects. They are basic to tho understanding 
of the major types of attitude formation. 

There are coses in which the external field of social stimula- 
tion is well struetured. We see definite shapes in buildings, 
tables, and boolca. We hear definite melody and rhythm in the 
music coming from radio, choir, and orchestra. The field of 
stimulation is organized into deSnite structures* the rest form- 
ing the haekgcoutwl on which these structures stand, out witlv 
figure-character. In the organization of response to stimulation 
the essential principle is the grouping of different parts of the 
stimulus field. 

Some sort of grouping takes place, whethei* or not the 
stimulus field itself imposes the essential conditions for group- 
ing. In cases in which Uie field of stimulation is well structured, 
the special characteristics of a grouping oi’e determined by tlie 
factors in the external situation. The shape of a square with 
clear-cut lines will be perceived by everybody as a square. In 
this case the sharp contours of the foiu: lines unmistakably 
connected with each other at their extremities are determining 
factors.The factors determining the structuring of the stimulus 
field have been studied and found to include among others the 
following: closeness (proximity), likeness, "common fate," 
and objective set. If there are dots at irregular intervals before 
‘ you, the dots which are close together will be grouped together. 
But if such a spatial factor is lacking and, certain of Uic dots 

** T. Beebe-Centra, Pltasantneu and UnpUaioninm, Now York: D. Van Nostraad 
and Company, 1082; N. S. CohSn, Tha nlativity of absointo judgments, ilmsr. J» 
Piyokol., 1087. 40, 08-100. 



Attitudes 2^5 

are alike — say, in color or shape — ^the similar ones ore likely 
to be grouped together,*® 

In actual social life man (in any culture) is surrounded by 
tools, furniture, buildings, means of transportation, timetables, 
and otlier definite schedules regulating the run of vital activi- 
ties. All these aompellinglf^ force themselves on the individual 
(even without direct mediation of othei’ individuals) with their 
definite magnitudes, proportions, limiting time spans, definite 
scopes of distance, etc. These (mmpelling features of the “ man- 
made ” world produce in tlie individual definite scales, frames, 
and standards. These scales (frames), and standards, once they 
are foimed in him, constitute the major soui*ce of the formation 
of his tastes and expectations in relation to things, his con- 
ception of the scope of his worlds his degree of mobility, his 
major sense of the proportion of things, his conception of the 
scale of speed, riches, etc. We have already referi'ed to this 
field of stimulation as material culture or tecimology. Together 
with its psychological efiects, namely, the mentality and tech- 
nology relationship, it ia a sorely neglected topic of social psy- 
chology. This oll-importont topic will be our concern in Chapter 
15 , 

Where such objective factors are wanting, i.e., where the 
stimulus field is unstructured in various degrees, the result is 
usually not a perception of chaos; organization still takes place. 
But in such, coses the internal or internalized factors play the 
dominant role in organization or grou2>ing. These internal or 
internalized factors may be at^tude, set, drive, emotional state, 
etc. Consider ambiguous figures and puzzle pictures. These 
pictures can be seen in different ways, but if you tell an observer 
one of tlie possibilities-first/he will probably see that dhe and 
not tlie others, 

The Rorschach tests are good examples of on indefinite, 
non-structured field of stimulation. These tests consist of 
ambiguous ink blots. The subjects ore asked to repoH whatever 
they see in them. Since the ink blots are irregular and complex, 
th^ are open to all sorts of interpretations which reveal cer- 
tain internal factors in the subject himself. One of the early 

V Seo especially M. Wertheimer, UaterBuoEuDgoo sur'Lehre von GeaUlt, 
Psyahol. ForsoAtmj, 1DS8, 801-SS0. 



2^6 An Outline of Social Psychology 

studies, that of Bleuler and Bleuler in 1935, shows concretely 
how habitual ways of looking at things as a result of cultural 
peculiarities may cause people to intei'pret the Sorschoch blots 
in such a way os to reveal the charactei'Jstics of their well-estab- 
lished culture products. These investigators gave Rorschach 
tests to a group of Moroccan subjects. The important I’esult 
for ouv problem is that the Moroccaim gave ‘^such a wealth of 
small-detail responses’* as is not usually found in European 
subjects.® This veiy probably may bo a reflection of the “love 
for beautiful detail'* in the Moroccan art. 

Some good examples of the tendency to form gi'Oii])s and tlie 
dominance of internal factors over external are found in tile ex- 
pei'imental work on rhythm. The essential condition in the 
perception of rhytlim is grouping of stimuli. Usually accent is 
decisive in determining rhythmic patterns. But even when 
sounds follow one another fairly rapidly at a uniform rale with- 
out intensity or time-interval differences, we cannot help 
grouping them, and we experience rhythm although rhythm is 
objectively lacking. The rhythmic grouping of the puffs of tlie 
locomotive or the grinding of the train wheels is well known. 
These are examples of subjective rliytlun. 

This was experimentally demonstrated by Sherif. The stimu- 
lus was a succession of ticks coming from behind a screen at a 
uniform, rate. The groups of subjects were instructed to move 
their hands in rime with the ticlu, and to count aloud in a 
particular grouping given to them by the experimenter; 1-!^ or 
1-2-^ or 1--2-3-4, as the case might be. While tliis was in 
progress, another subject was brought into the experimental 
room. This new subject was completely ignorant of the fact 
that the rhythm was prescribed; he was told merely to listen 
to the rhythm. For a few minutes the other subjects continued 
in his presence, after which all but the natve subject were sent 
out of the room. He was then instructed to beat time to the 
rhytlim of the ticks. Most of these subjects conformed to the 
grouping that had been suggested by the hand movements and 
oral counting-off by the other subjects. The usual introspective 
reports obtained firom the naive subjects revealed a tendency 

* M. Bleuler end A. Bleuler, Boraohoch's Ink-blot tost and rncinl psychology: 
mental peeulmllies ol Moroccane, Charaoior ond Personality, IDSS, 4, S7-114, 



Attitudes 3g7 

to experience intensity (accent) and time-interval differences. 
(It would be interesting to compare the reactions of musically 
naive subjects with the reactions of musically sophisticated 
subjects.) 

All these illustrationa show that whether the external field 
of stimulation is well stmctured or not, it is organized into 
definite frames. If the external field is well structured, the ob- 
jective factors in the situation chiefly determine what sort of 
grouping will take place. If the external field is not well struc- 
tured, grouping still takes place; but here internal or inter- 
nalized factors such as attitude play the dominating role in 
determining or completing the grouping. This grouping is a 
primary experiential fact. Even if this or that pattern depends 
largely on past associations, it is scarcely likely that the tendmcy 
io orgarme a stimulus field is itself merely a product of associa- 
tion. 

Of course there ai*e on almost infinite number of gradations 
of structure of the stimulus field — from, say, the imposing com- 
pellingness of Rockefeller Center in New York to the confusion 
and <£aos of a devastated town in which the schedules of pub- 
lic services ore disrupted because of war. 

In the recent work of Luchins we find, a clear demonstration 
of the graxled effects of the degrees of structuration. Luchins 
studied the effects of social factors (e.g., suggestion) initiation 
to stimulus objects wiUi various degrees o! structuration. The 
studies show that the gitater the degree of vagueness or in- 
definiteness of the stimulus object) ^e greater the effect of 
sodnl factors.”' On the basis of such findings, we may state 
that the ejfeoi qf eoeial factors coming from withoul (suggesHont 
group pres8ur0t etc,) and of wiemal fo^rs {motio^ioni cUHtudeSt 
etc,) increases with ike vagueness, **indeterminaimesa** and de- 
creases mUb tfie alarUy and st/ructurednoss of the Himutus siHtaHon, 

Bruner recently expressed the same principle; “...The 
greater the equivocality the greater the chance for behavioral 
factors in perception to operate, all other things being equal,** “ 

A. S. Luohhis, On ngreomeot with another’i judgment, J. Abn, A 800 , 

1944, 89, 07-111; A. S. Luchina, Social influeacee on perceptUmof complex draviogi^ 
J. Soo. Payahol., 194S, SI, Sfi7-87S. 

< J. S. Bruner and C. G. Goodman, Value and need aa organising factord in per- 
ception, /. Abn, 800 , PaffoAol., 1047, W,’ 88. 



10 . 

Attitude Formation and Change 


IN CHAPTER 7, WE PRESENTED EXPERIMENTS DEMONBTRATINQ 
the rise of group norms in relation to on unstructui^d stimulus 
situation, and their effect on the individual when he is no longer 
in the group. 

Experimental Production of an Attitude ^ 

Proceeding on the basis of these facts and hypotheses, wo can 
undertake the experimental formation of an attitude using the 
some autokinetic techniqpie. This brings us close to the way many 
attitudes are foimed in actual life. la daily life, many of oup 
major attitudes ore formed on the basis of short-cut value 
dictums coining from other people, before we make up our minds 
oursefnss through aotual eorUcud with the situationB, persons, and 
things. In oblier words, the relationships ore sti'uctured, 
crystallised for us through these value dictums before we form 
our own attitudes in relation to them on the bosis of sufBcient 
facts. The following expenment was undertaken to demonstrate 
this fact in a precise laboratory situation, 

The expenment to be reported deals with the influence of' 
the pronouncements of another person on the adoption of a 
presciibed attitude. Thei'e were 7 groups in this experiment, 
each group consisting of % members, In every group one subject 
cooperated with the experimenter, i.e„ deliberately distiibuted 
his judgments within the range and around the norm assigned 
to him by the experimenter beforehand. The other subject was 
unaware of this predeteimination. The degree of tliis *'nafve** 

' This BtudF la lepniitod vllh alight (ahanges from M;. Shcrif, Aa cfKpoeliosQtal ap« 
praacb to the itudy of attltudea. Sockmelrj/t !• 90-08. 

828 




Attitude Formation and Change 329 

subject’s conformity to tlie'norm and range of the cooperating 
subject may be taJcen as the index of the social influence. The 
same subject cooperated with the experimenter in eveiy group 
in order to keep the influencing member constant in oU the 
groups. 

The range and the norm prescribed for every group were 
diflPereut. For tlie first group, tiie prescribed range was 1-8 
inches, S inches being tlie prescribed norm. For the second 
group, the prescribed range was 2-4, and 3 inches tlie norm, 
and so on to the seventli group lor which the rouge and norm 
were 7-0 and 8 respective^^. It will be observed -fliat the pre- 
scribed range was rather narrow; consequently in the course of 
die experimental period the cooperating subject gave no judg- 
ments which deviated from the norm by more than one inch in 
either direction. 

In the first experimental session, both subjects (the cooperat- 
ing and the naive) took port. After each exposure of the point of 
light for two seconds, the subjects spoke their judgments aloud 
one at a time and the experimenter recorded them. Lx order not 
to stress the factor of primacy , the cooperating subject was in- 
sti'ucted to let the otlier subject utter his judgment first, at least 
half of the time. The social influ^ice in. our previous experiments: 
with tlic autokinetic effect was found to be not so much a func;t 
tion of tills and that sepoiate judgment as of the temporal se- 
quence of judgments. Fifty judgments were taken from each 
subject. 

In the second session only the naive subject, was present,, so 
that we might see how much of the prescribed range, and norm 
he carried from the group session. Again fifty judgments were 
token. As the norm formation in the autokinetic eff^t is a 
fragile and, in a sense, artifleial formation, siich’an arbitrary 
prescription may break dovm easily after a certMn number, of 
judgments. Our whole point is that the autokinetic effect may 
be utilized to show a general psychological tendency, and not to 
reveal the concrete properties of attitude formation in actual 
life situations. 

In the presentation of results we give the jiresoribed range 
and norm, the number, of judgments of the naive subject fall- 
ing within the prescribed range, and his noimis (as r^r^ented 



230 An Outline of Social Psychology 

by the median of the distribution of his judgments) in the first 
(^up) and second (individual) sessions. 


Gaoup 1 


Bxperimentally Obtained 
(from Naive S) 



Session 1 

Session n 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Bange I'-S inches 

1-6 

1-4 

Norm 2 

3.36 

2.02 

No. of the 60 judgments falling 
-within the prescribed range 

a 



At the end of the second (individual) session the subject was 
asked to answer in writing four questions related to the prob- 
lem. The answers to two of the questions further verify our 
earlier results. Wa shall therefore confine ourselves to tlie 
answers given to the other two questions, which are important 
for our present problem. These questions were: (1) What was 
the distance that the light most frequently moved? (Tliis was 
intended to find out whether the subjects became conscious of 
the norm formed in the course of the experiment); (3) Wero you 
influenced by the judgments of the other person who was 
present during the first session? (This question was asked in 
order to find out whethesf the subjects were conaciouB of the 
fact that they were being influenced by the cooperating sub' 
ject.) 

The answers of the subject in Gropp 1 are important for any 
tlieory of suggestion and attitude formation; 

1. Most frequent distance was % inches* Seemed to be more con- 
sistently 2 inches second day than on first day. 

2. Yes, they were despite my efiorts to be impartial. Probably 
many of my judgments were inordinately large because of small dis- 
tancea given by other subject. I think this was an attempt at avoiding 
sugg^tion and in so doing going to the other extreme. I do not think I 
loos in^uenced hy first day's jrudgmmU on the ssoond day. 1 tned to be 
impartial in my judgments the first day. I felt resentment toward the 
other eabjeet the first day 6soaase of the sueeesswe equal judffmenis by him. 
I tried to be objective toward this feeling: that is to banish the 
thought. But X feel that this reaentment caused my judgments to 



Attitude Formation and Change 231 

differ frojn Bis by a greater amount than they would have if the judg- 
ments had been kept separate; that is if I Bad not Beard Bis judg- 
ments. The second day I fell more independence in my judgments and I 
belieoe fhot these judgmenis were (her^ore more accurate. 


GnoTjp 2 

Experimentally Obtained 
(from Naive 3) 



Session I 

Session n 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Range 2^ inches 

1-10 

1-6 

Norm 8 inches 

4.25 

8.77 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the prescribed range 

SO 

43 


The answers to the two questions were: 

1. ‘‘Three or four inches were the most fi'equent estunetes.” 

2. “iVo, I waa not influenced by Ute oiJter person. This 1 be- 
lieve was because I stated my estimates first for the most part” 


Gbotjp 8 

Exporimontally Obtained 
(from Naive S) 



Session I 

Session H 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Range 8-5 inches 

2-8 

8-6 

Norm 4 inches 

4.61 

4.67 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the presci'ibed range 

43 

40 


The answei’s follow: 

1. ‘‘Four inches yesterday. Five inches today.” 

2. ‘‘Yea, my first judgments ore much higher than those 
following. In a way I scaled them down to ranges nearer to his. 
The majority of times I gave my judgments first. The same 
distance seemed shorter after a few ti'inls. Bly judgments were 
infiuenced by yesteiday’s. I meosm'ed them by the some scale 
both days.” 



232 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Gboi7p4 

Experimentally Obtained 
(from Nf^e S) 



Session I 

Session 11 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Range 4r3 

8-6 

8-6 

Norm 6 

5.20 

5.21 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the prescribed range 

47 

46 


The reports: 

1. “Five inches.” 

2. “For the first three or four times. After that, no.” 


Gnoup 5 

Experimentally Obtiuned 
(from Naive S) 



Session 1 

Session II 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Range 5-7 

8-7 

8-7 

Noim 6 

5.50 

5.42 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the prescribed range 

84 

35 


The reports: 

1, "Five indies both days.” 

2. “No. I was not influenced ly ifte 'presence of another person* 
But I sincerely believe tliat my pm‘tner was exaggerating the 
distance when he made his estimate. I say this because it 
seemed to me that he hesitated several seconds after I gave niy 
estimate. ...” 

• Gboup 6 

Experimentally Obtained 
(from N^ve S) 


Prescribed 

Session 1 
(in Group) 

Session 11 
(Alone) 

Range 6-8 

8-8 

4-8 

Norm 7 

5.04 

6.18 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the prescribed range 

24 

27 



Attitude FormutJou and Change ftB8 

The reports: 

1. “Seven most frequenti 5 next frequent.” 
g. **No, I was not it\ilumc$d** 

Gnoup 7 

Experimentally Obtained 
(from Naive S) 



Session I 

Sesaimi 11 

Prescribed 

(in Group) 

(Alone) 

Range 7-0 

4-ia 

6-0 

Norm 8 

7.40 

7.88 

No. of the 50 judgments falling 
within the prescribed range 

17 

40 


The reports: 

1. “The most frequent distance was about S inches, llie 
next most frequent was about 7 inches.” 

g. “I think it did make a difference when somebody else 
was with me. When 1 gave my judgment first, there was no 
difference, of course, but when he was with me I sometimes, 
though not all the time, modified my judgment when it was 
very far from his, and when I thought that I might easily have 
been mistolcen. Of course, tliis did not occur frequently, but I . 
cannot deny that it happened sometimes.” 

Conoliision* Prom these results we may conclude that the 
subjects may be iiifiuenced to pei'ceive an indefinite stimulus 
field in terms of on experimentally intioduced norm. Tlie degree 
of the influence may be different in different subjects, in line 
with individual differences. It may be great, os in the case of the 
subject in Group 4. It may be not so strildng, as in the case, of 
die subject in Group 8; or it may be negligible, os with the sub- 
ject in Group 6. Even in the last cose, an influence on the 
norm (though not on the range) is evident, 

The answers reveal that the subjects become conscious of 
the noim which develops in the course of the expeiiment. Howr 
ever, they may not all be conscious of the fact that they are 
being influenced toward that nprm by the other member, of. the 
group. (See answers given by the subjects in Groups 1, g, and 
4.) And, as determined by personality factors, they n^ or may 



234 An Outline of Social Psychology 

not feel resentment at such influence. But whatever these i>er- 
sonality differences, the general fact of the convergence toward 
a common attitude is evidenced. In connection with this point, 
it is intei'esting to note that in some coses the conSormity to 
the prescribed range and norm when the infliiendug person, is 
no longer present (Session IX) is closer than tlie oonformiiy 
produced by his actual presence. (See the results for Gropps 2, 
8, 6, 7.) 

It seems to us that the psychological process embodied in 
these facts may be basic to tlie daily phenomena of suggestion, 
especially to the role of suggestion in the formation of attitudes. 
It is not a rai'e occun*ence in everyday life to react negatively or 
hesitatingly to a suggestion on some topic made by an ac- 
quaintance while in his presence, but to respond positively after 
leaving him (perhaps there is a disinclination to accept sugges- 
tions readily unless there is a strong prestige or pressing de- 
mand; to appear easily yielding is not so pleasant for an ego). 

Attitudes, we repeat, imply characteristic modes of readiness 
in reacting to definite objects, situations, and persons. This 
experiment has demonstrated in a simple way how a charao~ 
teriaUe kind of readiness may be experimentally obtained in 
relation to an indefinite stimulus field. 

Exietiaions io More Concrete Material. The experiment just 
reported shows the basic psychological processes involved in 
the formation of an attitude. Ihe stimulus object in this ex- 
perimental situation does not itself arouse motivational factors 
such as ore found in social relationships in doily life, in which 
persons are directed toward definite goal objects. However, even 
though the stimulus object itself lacks motivational appeal, 
questions of competence arise between the subjects because of 
Idle discrepancies of their judgments in relation to the situation. 
Discrepancies in judgments in a vague situation in relation to 
which tlie subject feels insecure ai'ouse some ego issues among 
the subjects. In spite of such Issues, the subjects feel com])elled 
to converge, because of the insecurity of the situation. 

Yet su^ experimental demonstrationB, whidi emphasize tlie 
process of formation rather than the content of attitudes, may 
be mere artifacts of the laboratory. It is necessary to have veri- 
fications of the conclusions fi*om studies using more concrete 



Attitude Formation and Change 235 

stiniulvia matevial. Of the available material, we shall use oxily 
two illustrations. 

Expeiimcntol veriiicatioiL of these results has been obtained, 
utilizing stimulus objects having social value. In a series of ex> 
peidments, Asch, Block, and Hertzman had subjects make 
judgments of photographs, political figures, professions, and 
well-known slogans along several dimensions — e.g., intelli- 
gence and honesty for the photographs, social usefulness, 
idealism, etc., for professions, and the like.* These situations, 
for the moat part, were “objectively ill-sti‘uctured and vague” 
in order “to investigate the dej>endence of judgments upon 
subjective faetoia which function when the objective character- 
istics of the situation are reduced to a minimum” (p. 219). 
Particularly in the case of the photographs of strange persons, 
the subjects had few standards by whi^ to make their judg- 
ments. In such a situation, just os in the autokinetic study, the 
subjects established a frame or scale within which they mode 
judgments concerning each situation. “ The judgments of a single 
situation are rdaied to soak other by a person in meordeenoe with an 
underlying attitude of acceptance or rejection** (p* 248)-. These 
findings cgme out most clearly “for situations which ore not 
well-defined objectively.** Of course, in the case of stimuli which 
the subjects (college students) hod already faced in daily life, 
sudi as professions, this “underlying attitude” was found to 
con*eapond rather closely to the "prevailing norms** of “the 
cultural background of our subjects.” 

The authors at a later time went on to vary the experi*! 
mental conditions systematically, introducing "authoritative 
standards** in order to study their effects on the individual 
judgments of tlie stimuli. For example, after the subjects hod 
mode their individual judgments, they were given the judg- 
ments purportedly mode by a group of college students and 
were then asked to judge the stimuli. The result here was; 
**A standard having an avdioritaHve source tends to alter an indi~, 
vidual*s judgments in its direction** (p.' 249). Such standards 
were found to be influential "even when they were strongly at 
variance with those of the subject^” (p. 249). The inve^- 

* S. S. AbcIi, H. Bbdk, and M. Hertsinuit Studies in the principles ,of judgraenti 
and atUtndes: 1. iSro bnale prlooipl«a of judgment, J, P*ifohol,, IPSS, B, 



S36 Au Outline of Social Psychology 

gators suggest '*that a stan<iai'd> functioning as a frame of 
reference) may produce organization at a higher levels when it 
carries with it the sanction of public appmval than when the 
some or a similar a timulus standard is evolved by the individual 
himself” (p. 33^). Thus, with socially signi&ant material, 
Gonformity to a prescribed standard was pix)duced in the judg- 
ments of the individuals, just ns it was in the expei'iinent in 
which the stimulus had no significance for the subjects. 

Of particular interest was the finding that tlie shifts in the 
direction of the authoritative standoi'd wei'C less for judgments 
of slogans than for the other materials. In the case of the 
slogans, although tlie authoritative standard exerted some in- 
fluence, the indiyiduid's own *‘scale of reference” tended to be a 
more decisive factor. The authors interpret this finding in light 
of the fact that ”the subject is being influenced by a ba^- 
ground of historical and political knowledge” and that, there- 
fore, the situation is ^'relaUvely well-structured” (p. 350), 
Under these circumstances, his “sb'ongly fixed” attitude func- 
tions more effectively than the experimental group standai-d in 
determining his judgments. Thus, these results ”do not con- 
stitute an exception to the findings of the present expeiiments” 
(p.25Q). 

In a further series of similar experiments, Asch found that 
even when a fictitious standard introduced ns that of a group 
of college students correlated -1.00 (i.e., with an exactly op- 
posite ranking) with die individual’s own judgments, the stand- 
ard effected a shift in individual judgments.* £ven when the 
subjects were given their own previous judgments as a stand- 
ard, they were ** influenced more strongly by iheficHUous standard 
qf a congmial group than by dmr own standardsl ” (p. 447) . 

However, Asch found that a standard imputed to just any 
group did not have this effect When the subjects were told that 
the standaid consisted of judgments made by Nazis, there was 
” a tendency to reject the standai’ds ... os a basis for judgment” 
(p. 403). Here we see how previously fomed attitudes towai'd 
an out-group, and especially an out-group with atondaids hi^ily 

* 9. E. AicA, Studies in the principles of judgments and attitudes: II. Determinatton 
of judgments by group and by ego standards, J, 809, PegoM., 8P8SI BnUn lOiO, 18 , 

488-4ea. 



Attitude Foimation and Change 237 

at variance witli one’s own group standards, lead to a rejec- 
tion of die standard, as oppo^ to the acceptance of the stand- 
ard of a congenial ” group or refermee group. 

' Our second illustration is from a recent work by Stagner and 
Osgood, showing attitude foimation and shifts as found in the 
actual course of human events/ These investigators obtained 
ratings from college students and adult subjects for various 
groups (Englishmen, Socialists; Frenchmen, Pacifists, etc.) on 
an 8-point scale ranging from one extreme value judgment 
to the other (e.g., kind to cruel, strong to weak, etc.). In addi- 
tion, certain concepts like “Big Navy,” “Neutrality,” “Fight- 
ing” were similarly judged. Ratings were obtained between 
April, 1040, just before the Nazi invasion of Norway, and 
Hardi, 1042, and the changes or shifts of attitude were noted. 
In this case, the frame to which a judgment was referred was 
formed from the actual course of events, the opinions of news- 
papers, radio, and otlier mass media, as well as from the norms 
of the individuals’ membership groups. For example, in 1940, 
the subjects tended to be ^'isolationist-nationalistic, but op- 
posed to intervention.” But the “bombs of Pearl Harbor acted 
upon mental patterns wliich almody had shifted foi* along 'the 
path of war. The sharp impact of that event is shown id the 
curves for Fighting, Pacificism, and Neutrality*’ (p. 100). 

Particular^ relevant to this discussion are the findings about 
judgments concerning Hussions. In the authors’ wor^, “We 
suspect that most American adults have no more objective 
data on the ci’uelty of 'Russians than Sherif’s 'subjects had on 
the extent of the autokinetic phenomenon” (p. 21S). In such 
cases, one would expect the judgments mode to be particularly 
liable to social influences* In i£e beginning of the study, the 
median' judgment of Hussions was one of decided disapproval. 
General approval increased after Hitler’s atiackon the Hussions 
until by March, 1042, the judgment was sli^t approval,. Par- 
ticularly striking waa the increase in the concept “strong” in 
relation to the Russians when they “proved their poWer by un- 
expectedly holding the Nazis.” However, in generm the authors 

* E. Staenor and C. E. Oiigood, Impact of vrt on a nstioniduUc friinte of refarenca: 

I. Changes in general approval and qualitative patterning of certain itereo^irpes, 

J, 8oo. PspoM., 1040, S4, 187-Slfi. 



238 An Outline of Social Psychology 

noted that judgments on the ** good-bad** dimension ore rela- 
tively resistant to the impact of events. We shall have more to 
say about this point in the next section. 

The authors interpret tlieir findings in terms of **the fi'ome 
of reference as an inteiiorization of the culture-pattern. The 
individual is trained to accept the judgments of others regard- 
ing the allocation of given concepts to certain points on the 
approval-disap])roval continuum, and even to a considerable 
extent on specific gradients, just os Sherifs subjects . . . were 
influenced by majority opinion** (p. 218). However, ‘‘change 
they do,** to some extent at least, with the compelHngness of 
events, sucli as the decisive defeat of Hitler*s army by tire Hus- 
siana (p. 208), Similai’ly, whereas the generd evaluation 
concerning Erenchmen remained positive as a result of tire pre- 
vailing values of American life, the judgments of their strength 
decreased increasingly after the fall of Paris and the subsequent 
stages of occupation. 

Change and Perpetuation of Attitudes 

Since attitudes ai-e fomed (learned) in relation to objects, 
persona, groups, or norms (values), it follows that .tlrey ni'e not 
unchangeable. So fundamental is the whole problem of clrange 
in the superstructure of “human nature,** which consists chiefly 
of attitudes of various kinds, that it runs through many sec- 
tions of this book. It has already been considered bnefly in 
Chapter 6. The theme will reappear in the clrapters on ego- 
involvementa. in our discuasions of adolescence and prejudice, 
and will be among our chief concerns in Part III, “Individuals 
and Social Change.’* At present, therefore, only a few general re- 
marks on attitude change are necessaiy as further verification of 
the process of attitude f ormhtion outlined earlier in this chapter. 

Attempts at changing attitudes or social prejudices experi- 
mentally by the dissemination of infoimation or factual argu- 
ment have been notably unrewarding. Some investigators have 
been unable to obtain any change.* Others have obtained various 
degrees of shift in the desired direction, although there were 

■ Seo. for examplo, E. B. Bolton, Effect of knowledge upon attitudes toward the 
Negro, j. 8oo. 1095, 0, 08-H)O; nnd D. Voung, Some ejects of n courie in 

Ainericen rooo probloms on the race prejudice of 450 undergraduates At the University 
of Pennsylvania, J. Afrn. <& 3eo. Pj^oI,, 1097, 99, 935-S4S, 



Attitude Formution and Change SS9 

almost always some cases showing negative or no change.® And 
at times the cliongea produced by such methods weie in the 
opposite direction to that attempted.' Althou^ the attempts 
at changing attitudes through infomiation alone may produce 
shifts in degi*ee or alteration of it^s of behavior, these changes 
are apt to be disci’ete and rather ephemeral. 

It is a common observation of life that individual contact 
with persons or events the characteristics of which run counter 
to a well-establislied attitude seldom has mucli effect on the 
individual's attitude. To persons with a strong, unfavorable 
attitude toward Negroes, individual Negroes who have none of 
the supposed stereotyped characteristics either oi'e peiceived os 
possessing them anyway or are viewed as exceptional cases. 
Thus, for a prejudiced person, a Paul Robeson may verify the 
assumption that '‘Negroes are musical, “ or may be considered 
os on ** exception** from the ‘‘usual run.** Even events of a 
world-wide scope may leave people unmoved. For example, the 
Nuremberg trius were a dramatic exposition of the Nazi crimes 
against humanity. However, accoiding, to one member, of the 
American prosecution.: “It is certainly true that there remain 
large bodies of Geimnns on whom the. trials have had no effect 
whatsoever. ...*** According to another observer, "Not even 
proof of the bestiality of Belsen guards will show them what the 
Nazis did.** • Witliout doubt, however, at least some Germans 
were affected by Uie revelations and events following the Nazi 
defeat. Still others wen perhaps only confused, disillusioned, 
and embittered. For it is a fact' that when established reference 
frames become shaky or break down, the individual tends to 
experience uncertainty, ambiguity, or auxiety.until he accepts 
some new reference point or frame. Especially .when attitudes 

• For ffif>Tn p) ^ft F. Vf • Oohloiff) JBsparinMHt in (Ae Uea&unmni and 

(4 Baoial AUititdea ^ Sokoot Ohildrm, FliJD. thaiu, New York Univerdfy,' lOSOi ' 
M. Smith) A stu(^ of chaugo of attitudes toward the.Nogro./. Ntfro Edm., 108B, 8, 
6>l-70; H. H. Pemraors. PrbpsgAndA in the Bohools— ^ the 'efcats lutf PuUio 
Opinlm Qmrl,, 1B80, Si 167-810. 

’ li*or uample. D. D. Droba, ISd\u»tlon and Siegro attitudei,’iS(Kiwf. and 5oo. Am., 
loss, 17, 187-141 i A. J. Mnnako. Th RefleoHon qf Tomkn^t AUttudt» in th AtlUudaa c^‘ 
Their Pnpih, Fh.D. thesis. Tco^r’a College, Columbia Unlv., 1880. ^ 

• R, M. W. ICcsmpner, "Impact of Nuranberg ^ tb^ German Mind," TJho Nm^ 
York Hmes iTflgmfTW, 0^b« 0, 1040rp« O0> 

• 1. A. n. Wylie, "Germany Nation of Nooia StHI,** Xodisi' Jotmtoi, IB^O, 
08, Z4R. 



^J40 An Outline of Social Psychology 

oi'e related to the individual’s veiy conception of himself, when 
they involve his anchorage with his surroundings, their bi'eah- 
down may lead to confusion and chaos for him. 

If the facts about the matter in question or even concrete 
experience alone are not sufficiait to lead to fundamental and 
lasting attitude changes, what methods ai’e effective? In an- 
swering this question^ we find that tlie process of attitude 
change involves the same factors as those in attitude formation. 
In the studies of Asch, Block, and Hertzman, and of Asch, we 
found tliat the introduction of a standard or reference frame from 
some ’’congenial** group (refei’ence group) effected a substan- 
tial change in individuals* judgments except for stimuli in re- 
lation to which some attitude was already well established. In 
such cases, the existing frame i^ulted in the perception of an 
already structured situation by the individual. The most clear- 
cut evidence concerning the factors necessary for fundamental 
change in such well-established attitudes came from Newcomb's 
Bennington study presented earlier (sec pp. 186-155). Here the 
decisive effect of group membership and identification (ego- 
involvement) with the group and its products (norms, values) 
on the process of attitude change come out clearly, Lewin’s 
study showing tlie superiority of ’’group decision" to a lecture 
method for changing food habits is nnothei* case in point. 
Lewin concluded that fundamental attitude change (re-educa- 
tion) was dependent on identification with a group. 

lie-education infiuences conduct only when the new system of 
values and beliefs dominates the indiyiduars perception. The accept- 
ance of the new system is linlced wltli the acceptance of a specific 
group, a particular role, a definite source of authority os new points 
of reference. It is basic for re-education that this linkage between 
acceptance of new facts or values and acceptance of certain groups 
or roles is very intimate and that the second frequently is a pre- 
requisite for the first. This explains the great difficulty of clionglng 
bdiefs and values in a piecemeal fashion. This linkage is a main 
factor behind resistance to I'e-education, but can also be mode a 
powerful means for successful re-education.^'^ 

K. Levin and F. Grabbe, *'Cuiuiuct, Knowledge, and Acceptance of New Values,** 
In OAanginff Aitihidts and Behavior, Publioalion No. S, Rcaearch Center for Group 
DynamicB, Doputment of £coiMunics and Boeia! Science, MaaBochiuotU Institute of 
Technology, 1945, p. 18. 



Attitude Pormation and Change S41 

This general observation is confirmed by observations of indi- 
vidual members of adolescent gongs, cliques, etc, (jpp. S98-SS6), 

Yet, as we saw in the Bennington study, it is inadequate to 
consider membership in one group alone in relation to attitude 
diange and to reach conclusions on that basis. Por in highly 
differentiated societies, as in the United States today, groups do 
not exist alone os closed systems. Other groui)s impinge on the 
group ati'acturo and its individual members and their attitudes; 
at times, with a compelling impact. So we find some members 
of an in-group who maintain conflicting attitudes because of 
outside reference and identification. It would be interesting to 
have been able to follow those who did change their attitudes 
in Bennington after tliey left their college in-group ties. At 
least some of them must have succumbed to pressure of 
established social groups whose norms were contrary to the 
liberal Bennington trend. Only when the mynod groups of 
society are iniegraiedt with a consequent harmony of norma of 
behavior, do fundamental and lasting changes in attitudes 
occur. 

Before leaving the problems of attitude change for the' time 
being, we must mention another point wMcli will be expanded 
in Chapter Id. It is true that discrete events may have no effect 
whatsoever on an establlslied attitude. Howevei*, there ore some 
concrete exi)eriences so overwhelming that attitude changes of a 
lasting kind do result. This is particuloily the case when the 
experience cannot be handled adequately by relating it to 
existing attitudes. Tlie impact of technological developments 
provides clear evidence on this point. Particularly when in- 
dividuals first come into contact and use the products of modem' 
technology, old attitudes bmolc down and are changed in a 
sweeping way. Por example, within a. comparatively short time 
after going to work in a modem factory,, illiterate Chinese 
peasants may completely revise their attitudes toward family, 
husband and .mfo relationships, etc. 

In spite of all the foi'ces in society that work toward sodol 
cliange, as a general rule the change in attitudes of individuals 
and gi'oups tends to lag behind the change in actual conditions. 
Because of what tlie sociologists call this “cultural lag,” many 
prevalent attitudes ai’e highly at variance witli existing facts, 



24ft An Outline of Social Psychology 

sodol and otherwise. We ccmiiot go into the complicated prob- 
lems of the ^'cultural lag” and its effects here in any detail; its 
study must necesaari^ involve data from sociology and 
economics os well os &om psychology. But we shall point out 
that at least a part of this problmn is psychological. Just as our 
bodies, which we experience os ourselves, are anchored in space, 
the attitudes which are formed in relation to social objects, 
persons, and relationships around us sei've as anchoring frames 
in relation to tlie social world around us. And when the stability 
of these anchorioga is tlireatened, the individual feels confused, 
emdouSy or insecure. Unless ^Uiceptablo new ancboiings are 
presented, he will tend to cling tenaciously to the old. The 
reason for this psychological fact will become evident in the 
diapters on egoduvolvements. 

The peculiar picture of individuals and groups who continue 
to clmg bo attitudes which do not correspond in point of fact to 
the world areund them would seem a great deal more puzzling, 
were it not that there are interested groups who exert great effort 
toward their peipetuation. Before the advent of modem tech- 
nology, such groups had to exert their influence cluefly through 
face-to-face contacts. But with the invention of the printing 
press down to the introduction of television, interested groups 
have found in these moss media of communication perhaps their 
most potent weapon. 

There is ample evidence to the effect that the mass media in 
the western capitalist socieUes today tend to be lai’gely in the 
hands of a amdl group of owners who are predominantly con- 
servative. ]?arther, evidence for this point will be considei'ed in 
Chapter Ift, As an example, the Commission on !Pi‘eedom of the 
Press reported that five advei’tising accounts made up nearly 
a fourth of the iucome of America’s major radio networks in 
1945.^' In this connection, Lazai^sfeld at the conclusion of his 
r^rton his radio study remarks: '^Technological innovations 
have, it is true, a tendency of their own to engender social 
change. But so far as radio is concerned all signs point to the 
unlikelihood of its having, in its own right, profound social con- 
sequences in the near future. Broadcasting is done in America 

u ComaiBskm on Eroedom of tito ProiSi A Fm and H^spotuilde Presst A Omeral 
Rejiori on Mom Oommv»ieaHott, ChicAgoi Uulvcrstty of Chicago Feoh, 1047. 



Attitude IFonaation and Change 243 

today to sell merchandise; and most of the other possible effects 
of radio become submerged in a strange kind of social mecha- 
nism which brings the commerci^ effect to its strongest es^res- 
sion.” “ As it is easy to verify, almost all the fil-mg produced 
in Holl 3 rwood, and consequently those which make up the 
majority of the world’s film &re, can be traced to the efforts of 
six major companies. 

The effect of this leads tori^rd the perpetuation of airigtiTi g 
attitudes (stereotypes, prejudices, etc.) even though they may 
be completely out of line with the trend of science and soci^ 
life. IDetailed evidence concerning various methods used may 
be found in the work of Doob ^ and other students of propa- 
ganda. A few illustrations out of the hundreds coming to light 
every day will shed further l^ht on the psychology of atti- 
tudes. 

One technique is to start by preparing an unstnicturdd situa- 
tion. Thus, ^Villiom Eandolph Hearst began discussing the 
1936 presidential election as follows: do not know what 

party I will support, and I cannot know until the platforms are 
adopted, and the candidates are nominated.’’ 

So he does not seem to know. But one paragraph later, it is 
evident that he knows as definitely os anyone can know any- 
thing. He anchors his certainty to well-established values in the 
sociefy.he is addr^ng: 

"I win say, however, that I think there should be a Jefferso- 
nian Democratic party in the field. 

**I think definitely that the historic Demooratic party of 
Jefferson, of Kadisbn, of Monroe, of Jackson, of Cleveland, 
should nominate candidates who are recognised Democrats, 
and adopt a platfonn of soimd demooratic principles. 

think, too, tliat this regular Democratic party ohould get 
out an injunction to prevent the Socialist party from using its 
name.” “ 

In a study of attitude (stereotype) perpetuation, the' Bureau 
of Applied Social Beseorch of Columbia coj^uded that short 

” F. F. Luarsfeld, Radio ani iht Friniti Pagf, New, Yorki Duell, Sbui ft Fwr^ 
lOiO, p. 838. 

II L. W. Doob, Pfopoffanda-^lU Payoholofi/ atid TeAnique, New York: . Holt, 

less. ' . . 

I* W. R. Hearst, editorlnlia Uu iVew For2i Journal, August SO, less. 



244 An Outline of Social Psydiology 

stories in 8 representative magazines witt national circulation 
were perpetuating stereotypes of “Anglo-Saxon supei'iority** 
with more consistency than other mass media. In their words, 
"American short story writers have made ‘nice people* synony- 
mous witli Anglo-Saxons.*^ Similarly, advci*tising copy cir- 
culated through mass media exei'ts a stereotyping effect. An 
advertising man quoted in this same study said: “ ‘You wont 
to sell to Sie greatest numbesi* of people, llierefore in your ad- 
vertisement you present someone whom they will want to 
emulate.* This man had actually conducted reseai'ch of his own 
to detenninc what pai'ticular An^o-Saxon names possessed the 
greatest power to suggest high social and economic status — in 
other words maximum snob appeal** (p. 11). 

Similar surveys are conducted by one of tlie Gallup organiza- 
tions for motion picture executives who aim for the highest 
possible box office receipts. Such surveys tend, of course, further 
to stereotype the Hollywood cinema. Conducted under the 
banner of "giving tlie public what it wants,** polls devised to 
enhance the box office potential of a picture or to create on 
audience actually have the effect of peipetuating the stei-eotypes 
and intei'ests of the public. As one critic of sucli surveys cogently 
remarked; "JFVeedom of choice presupposes a full appreciation 
of all alternatives involved.** A recent more general criticism 
of the use to which surveys of attitudes are put was leveled by 
Cartwright, who specifically attacks one of Gallup*s funda- 
mental notions concerning ^e ^tse of public opinion polls; "In 
the guise of being democratic and of giving the average man & 
greater voice in social affairs, public opinion research can be 
used to impede progress tbi'ough misplacing the function of 
invention in our society. By asking the public to invent solu- 
tions to social problems and by interpreting the absence of new 
solutions as a desire for the status quot public opinion polls are 
sometimes employed to bring pressure to bear against innova- 
tion and change.** 

” Writers Ferpotuate Stereotypes," A report by tlie Writer's War Board, 
IfewYoric, lOU 

>* £. BomenuiD, "The Fublie Opinion Myth " Hofper't Magamo, August, 1047, 
p.98. 

D. Cartwright, Public opinion polls and deanocratlc leadership, J, Soo, Istuet, 
May, 1940, p, 10. 



Attitude Formation and Change 245 

Continuing with this point, Cartwright selects an illustra- 
tion whicli IS directly pertinent to our present discussion ; 

Kadio programming provides a particularly intei’esUng illustration# 
People ore no more indined to have su^estions for clianging their 
radio service than they ore for chiming any other part of tl^ir world. 
Vested interests which wish to mmntain present programming in 
radio can easily collect public opinion, data to show how few people 
have any suggestions for basic (Ganges in their radio service. Experi- 
ence has shown, however, that new types of programs, once created, 
may become oxtreniely popular over night. Hod a survey been con- 
ducted a few years ago asking for suggested changes in radio programs, 
probably no one would have suggested “a new type of program in 
which someone asks people questions.’* But today quiz programs rate 
high in listener appeal* By the same token it is unjustified to take 
current polling results that over half of the population have no sug- 
gestions for improving radio seiwice as a reason for satisfaction wi& 
present stondai^s of radio programming (p. 11). 

This is not the place to go into detail rcgaiding the equally 
important problem of where the individual gets the attitudes 
and tastes which public opinion surveys tap. From this dis-- 
cusaioni we can see, however, that a good share of them are 
derived at least in port from pronouncements or suggeistion of 
the mass media. Of course, any interpretation of poll results 
which omits this factor is inaccurate, to say the least. 

The stereotyping effects of the Hollywood movies are almost, 
too well known to require mention. Not only in America, but 
all over the world, one can find individuals whose manners, 
morals, aspirations, and dreams are paiteimed after the never- 
never make-believe of Hollywood. The movie producer aims 
at a moss audience. He thev^ore concocts a picture full of the' 
kinds of people, values, manners, etc., that the mojori^ will 
fin d attractive. Although only a small segment of the population 
could live in tliis manner, Uie magic of tlie screen draws- more 
and more to embrace the glamour, wealth, adventure, and ro- 
mance that ai’e synonymous with Hollywood in the minds of 
millions of people throughout the world. 

This conserving, stereotyping effect of the mass media of 
communication is not inevitable. Indeed the mass media could 
be one of the swiftest instnunents for effecting social change and , 



846 An Outline of Social Psychology 

reducing the "cultural lag.** But for this to happen, the in- 
terests of those who control the media must be in harmony 
with the progress of science and social rdationships. 

Attitude Studies and the Psychology of Attitudes 

We could continue our account of attitudes, building up to a 
more concrete level with a com]nlation of suiumai'ieB of attitude 
studies, but that is not our present intention. Especially during 
the last three decadesi attitude studies have been piling up. 
Both psychologists and sociologists have conti'ibuied to the 
accumulation of literature in the field under various titles, 
such as prejudice (social distance), prestige suggestion, stereo- 
type, etc. Hosts of special cases of attitudes have been studied—: 
from attitudes of "race** prejudice, through attitudes of, radi- 
calism-conservatism, attitudes toward peace and war, class and 
profession, romanticism and various art forms, to special topics 
such os punctuality. Commercial "public opinion** enterprises, 
usually motivated by pecuniary interests or by certain interest 
groups, flourish in the "measuiement" of attitudes concerning 
current industiial, economic, political, military, ond sociol 
problems.^* 

Even though the bulk is great, such discrote studies have not 
contributed much to the formulation of a psychology of atti- 
tudes. Thereforo, compilation of diverse kinds of attitude 
studies and findings will not help us mucli, even tliough some 
of 'them give useful data concerning the particular attitudes 
studied. Usually the attitude is chosen for study for its own 
sake and not for the principles that may be attained thi'ough 
the specific case. Consequently, tiie bro^ principles wliich are 
implicit in such studies are often missed. They stand ratlier as 
discrete findings, not unified in a conceptual scheme of prob** 
lems and concepts, 

^ It is not our concern hero to take up tho question wliether or not these public 
opinion institutes cany on their work with tite sole motive finding foots and roochiog 
scientific condusions, or whether they sometimes odd to the confusion by trying to 
create a "band wagon" effect hy tbeir prenouneomeBts of "majority opinion." ^ it 
bai been found in aeverol studio that majority opinion Influences attitudes. The type 
of pronouncement of the Gallup poll and Gallup’s syndicated artielos is too well 
known to need description here. Soe also pp. SlO-SlS. Qiapter IS. 



Attitude Formation and Change 247 

There is no speciol physics of trains, automobiles, or refriger- 
ators; they are special applications of certain principles. Like- 
wise, there cannot be an entirely different psychology covering 
prejudice, conservative-radical attitudes, oi* the like. There 
must be some basic principles governing any attitude, And, of 
course, thci*e are also specific factors in each cose. We have 
alraady presented some general facts which lie at the basis of 
any attitude. 

In vicw 'of the points raised in our general orientation (Chap- 
ter 1), it is highly pertinent to proceed to further clarification 
of our atti tude formulation in relation to certain concrete topics. 
Out of othei* possible significant ones we chose the topics of 
ego-invohemantat adolea<sencet and prejudice. 

The psychology of ego formation and ego-involvements will 
lead us to tolce up attitudes which define and regulate inter- 
personal and group relations, which express status and aspira- 
tions toward social goals. As such, these ego-attitudes constitute 
the major, if not the focal, realm of sociogenic motives. This 
will give us a picture of the formation and functioning of in-, 
terpersonal attitudes, such as- those related to family; mascu-’ 
linity-femininity; relative positions (roles) in the capaciti^ of 
equal, superior, or infei’ior; attitudes of, belongingness and 
inarginality; attitudes expressing our social aspirations; etc. 

The psychology of adolescence offords.us on excellent oppoiv 
tunity to point to the rdation^ip and iidction between biogenic 
motives (primarily sex in this cose) and the social milieu’^and: 
the consequent formation and functioning of new attitudes in 
the critical situation thus produced; Here we shall see once more 
the effect of groups in the rise of new norms, 

Lastly the psychology of prejudice, which is. a special ease 
of an attitude, will be an appropriate topic to clarify our ap- 
proach to “in-group” and "out-group” lelationships — ^the 
attitudes produced and perpetuated , in the process of group 
frictions. 

Each of these topics (ego-involvem^ts, adolescence, end, 
prejudice), will in various ways help us to pull together motiva- 
tional, group (collective), and cognitive. (perceptual) factors in 
the formation and functioning of attitudes. 



11 . 

Ego-Inmlvements 


NO MATTSK WHAT CULTXTBAIi VABIATlONa IN B13UAVIOH THNHQ 

may be, man in all societies is first of all motivated by liis bio- 
genic motives. He has to eat, cbhik> sleep, mate, and satisfy other 
biogenic needs to achieve at least a minimum subsistence level 
of living (Chapters In early childhood, his whole functionx 
ing is dominated by these needs. As he grows, os he becomes a 
member of the group in so many capacities, he learas to cat 
certain things, at certain times, in certain settings. Not only 
the quality of food as such inattei's, but where he eats it. He 
may feel out of place eating iu certain places, staying in certain 
qumiera. This is ti'ue of sex and other biogenic motives ns well. 
He desires a sex object, but he also desires the sex mate to 
satisfy his personal sense of worth — he wants her to have 
^*class,'’ in good standing, to possess qualities whicli ai*e at a 
high premium in the eyes of his own group — ^whatever tliat 
group and their valued qualities may be. In short, aside from 
laws, regulations, and customs imposed from without, the con- 
cern over our personal worth comes from within to regulate the 
ways we satisfy even our biog^ic motives. 

The established norms witiiin a society require conformity 
from the members or would-be members (children) that live in 
its atmosphere. The confomity is imposed either tlirough the 
objective external properties of cultural products, such os the 
specially standardized proportions and forms of furniture, 
utensils, clothing, language, houses, etc., tliat present them- 
selves every day, or tlirough the demands, scolding, example, 
teaching, cooperation, correction, or punisliment of parents, 
teachers, playmates, equals, superiors, legal institutions, and 
groups. 

Infants are not required at first to conf oim to rules and I’egu- 




Ego-Involvements 249 

lations of their own accord. As they grow up, customs and tradi- 
tions are imposed more severely, until the proper ” norms are 
incorporated in tlie individual. But to consider the acquisition 
of social values or norms by the individual solely the conse- 
quence of external coemon, or of frustration owing to the 
mother-father-child relationship, as legalistically-minded writ- 
ers and orthodox psychoanalysts do, simply does not meet the 
test of developmental facts. The growing child or youth strives 
actively to make tlie standards or norms of his group (play 
group, clique, school, team, cdub) hU oion. He does his best to 
become a good member and to excel in his group. Becoming a 
good member and excelling necessarily mean enthusiastic in- 
corporation of and willing conformity to the values of his 
reference gi‘Oup, whatever it may be in a particular culture. 
Only by tliis active assimilation and confoimity does he become 
a member in good standing and acquire his relative status in 
the group. In the adult, the social norms are so well incor- 
porated ^at he conforms not only in I'esponse to pressure from 
parent or police, but usually of his own accord. There are times 
when he does not steal, even though he might steal, to his ad- 
vantage, because consciously or unconsciously the norm,, 
“ Thou ahalt not steal,” is effective within him. There are times 
when he docs not commit adultery, because ”Thou shalt not 
commit adultery ** has become a part of bun. It will hurt him 
to steal} it will injure hii self-respect to commit adultery. It 
will be below his dignity to do anything that is not honorable. 
Telling a lie will hurt his conscience. 

Of course, thei'e are times when he yields to " temptation • 
temptation os defined in his group, and in.situations whereit is 
culturally defined. Of course, too, theie are individual differ- 
ences; different individiuds have different thresholds at which 
tliey break down under the stress of temptation or other trying, 
crisis or tension, We are not talking about a generalized ” pro- 
totype ” of man. 

After yielding to temptation or other strong dem^ds of the 
moment, an individual may repent, because something in hditt- 
80 ^ is hui’t. Ho may feel the necessity of confessing to. a priest or 
to a dear friend, because he feels something restless irt him 
which forces him to find some, release, ^nbtlier individual may 



g60 An Outline of Social Psychology 

- not confess* but he may still have a sense of guilt in himself ^ 
because he has done something he should not have done. 
Many on individual has a confiici within himself before or after 
committing on act. 

In all cultures, primitive or highly developed, bourgeois or 
socialist, individuals helmg to groups. Aside from tlie fact of 
group belongingness, social position or status has no mean- 
ing. We bdong or aspire to belong to tills or that sohoo], club, 
cLaas, etc. Everyone is a member of a family, member of tliis or 
that church, fraternity, clique, organization, etc. Our very 
identity os we experience ourselves is dei'ived from sucli mem- 
berships or reference of ourselves to them. Aftei* a cei'toin level 
of development — after the ego develops some degree of stabil- 
ity^lack of belongmgness or being left out produces feelings 
of insecurity or amdety. The touchingly unfortunate life 
stories of the “moi'ginal man,*’^ isolates, paranoids, misfits 
are examples of the point. Bven anarchists, who aro products of 
bourgeois societies with contradictory forces and values, ore 
no exceptions to the rule. Their highly intense “substitutive 
activities” and grandiose escape plans reveal what they have 
to .put up with for their professed “doctrine.” If tins were not 
so, it seems they would not go to the utmost pains to address 
thenuelves (in books, discussions, lectures, and even ord'onua- 
iiona) to certain groups of people. As Wliyte has indicated in 
his Street Cotmt Sooieiyt areas of social disorgonization ore such 
only for superficial observe!^. Each of these areas has on in- 
ternal organization with codes of its own, and demands con- 
formity to them. 

Our ego problems arise from our positions in relation to other 
' individuals in our specific groups. These individuals may be 
persons we are actually in contact with in some capacity, or 
1 persons whose attainments in our line we know. 

In this connection we have to repeat the truism that indi- i 
viduols do not strive only for belongingness; they strive also in 
difierent degrees for position in their groups. Biist, they may 
have as their goal just to belong — ^to a college, organization, • 
“social set,” etc. Once this is achieved, tliey may not feel 
satisfied unless they reach a certain standing in the gi'oup. 

^ See,forekamplQ,E. V< Stonect^t. T/Milifafg&ial Man,NQ.vV(wktS(»ihQAC,lQd^. 

I 



Ego-Involvements ggl 

Ordinarily the satisfaction of biogenic needs, the getting of a 
job, the attainment of wealth or office depends on our being a 
good member of the group. This is true equally of gongs of the 
underworld and of “respectable” organizations such as a 
manufacturer’s association. (Of course, the codes differ^ activ- 
ities for the getting of things are regulated by the peculiw 
norms of each group.) The^ore, being a member in good 
standing becomes a major concern for us. 

The topics touched upon. in. the shove paragraphs con- 
stitute the major area of aocio0enio motives. Such behavior im- 
plies, one way or anotlier, involvements of tte ego. In the 
adult, the ego becomes extremely complicated, especially in 
highly developed bourgeois societies wi^ their great differen- 
tiation and coutradictoty groups and values. If we trace the 
development of the ego through early childhood (for it does not 
exist at birth), these formid^ie-sounding terms “ego” and 
“ego-involvements ” lend themselves to a naturalistic formulor 
tion. We shall see that the ego is a genetic fonnation consisting 
of attitudes formed in relation to objects, persons; ' groups, 
institutions, etc. We shall designate as “ego-attitudes"' the 
attitudes toward things tliat we consider ourS or that are oiirs 
(e.g., a house, room, dress, book, etc.) ; toward persons or groups 
to which we are personally related in some capacity (as’ friends, 
enemies, kin, f^ow members, or, in the case of groups, os 
cooperators or opponents) ; and toward institutions to whi^ we 
belong. In short, the ego consists of such attitudes. Belated to 
what wo consider ms, I, mine, these attitudes are not discrete, 
independent of one another. Thdr consteHation (ego-attitudes) 
constitutes the ego. 

The concept “ego-involvement” is used simply to denote 
the appearance of ego-attitudes in the psychological functioning 
at a given moment. Ego-involvements are situationaJIy aroused;^ 
as may be seen in everyday life 'e3q>erience. The some jedm, 
say about our ability in some field that matters to uS, ihay 
be taken in a good-natured way in the cirde of our trusted 
fi'ionds; but it may arouse dis^st and various sorts of defense 
reactions in a group consisting of our rivals and proved enemies. . 
Yanous kinds of ego-involvemehts haye'beeli studied ^4 
their differential .effects measured with a considerable ^degree 



252 An Out&ie of Social Psychology 

of success, especially during the last decade. As such, the 
much abused badge of acceptability, ** operational/’ may be 
legitimately attached to the concept. We shall present some 
illustrative studies of ego4nvolvements in the following 
chapter.^ 

Ego a Gene tie Formation 

Ego formation belongs to man alone among the many species 
of the animal kingdom. Not even the highest subhuman ani- 
mals share it witli him. This fact is mainly the result of man’s 
unique capacity for functioning psychologically on a ooa- 
wpUtally symbolic level. As we have seen (pp. 183-104), it is 
this same level of psychological functioning that makes pos- 
sible, as a consequence of human interaction, the rise and aocu- 
mulaiion of tools, symbols, concepts of language, and social 
norms (value judgments) from generation to generation. In 
the words of the biologist Huxley: **The first and most obvi- 
ously unique characteristic of man is his capacity for conceptual 
thought. ...” * 

Ego functioning does not come as an innate endowment of 
man, in the same sense os the capacity for conceptual thought, 
perception, judgment, and other such psychological functions. 
The constellation of attitudes in the psychological make-up of. 
the human adult whicii we designate os the ego is a genetic 
foimation. The newborn human child is biologically integrated 
— rbut he has no ego. And his ego would not form as he matures 
were it not mainly for two facts. Eirst, his psycliologiool func- 
tioning, and hia aZoTts, can take place on a conceptually sym- 
bolic level enobliug him to grasp reciprocal relationships with 
other humans and to make effective use of tlie accumulation of 
tools, concepts, and norms which he will eventually face. Thus 
animals and human idiots manifest no ego formation. Second, 
once m^ is biologically equipped with this possibility (of 
functioning psychologicBlly on a conceptually symbolic lev^), 
he grows into a world of lawful nature and of social relation- 

* For a brief hiitorjr of the concept of ogo-lavolvomonta, see B. B. Holt, Effects of 
ego-involvement vpon levels of nspiratbn, Ptyohialryt J, Biol. A Initrpen. 

1045, 8, 209-ei7. 

* J. Huxley, il/on 8fan4« Alom, New Yox4i: Haiper, 1907, p. 8. 


I 



Ego-Involvementa 353 

ships and their products which impose the necessity of adapt: 
ing himself to them and regulating his behavior accordingly. 
Without these restrictionsj resistances, ^d rewai'ds of nature 
and especially of the established social ioorld around him — with 
its diverse material and technological products, its institu- 
tions, its accumulated tools, concepts, and norms — ^the human 
individual would have no consistent and continuous ego forma- 
tion. So it is that children reared in isolation from human 
society have no ego.^ 

Because tlie group that on individual is bom into possesses 
an accumulation of established teols, syiubols, concepts, and 
norms, the mojor port of the constellation of attitudes making 
up his identity is formed in relation to them. Thus it is that the 
egos of individuals in diffei*^t social groups and cultures are 
shaped in their major featui’es in the image of those groups. 
Just as attitudes are learned in relation to the situations, 
objects, persona, institutions, etc., around the individual, so 
the ego is formed. Even the most intimate of relationships — 
those of kinship— are learned in accordance with norms coat- 
ing in the particular society at a particular time. The relative 
closeness, affection, loyalty, and responsibility towoad various 
blood relatives exhibited by an individual will vary in'terms of 
the prescribed norms of his group. The work of ethnologists 
has convincingly sliown that tlie individual becomes altruistic, 
individualistic, competitive, cooperative, etc., os determined, 
by the major norms of the group of which he is a member.* It. 
is useless, then, to argue over whether human nature** is' 
basically selfish or altruistic, cooperative or competitive, etc. 
The attitudes composing the ego are this or that way depend- 
ing on the content of the values of the society in relatioii to 
which they ore formed. , - 

The ego is not present at birth in the huihto' child. As ’ 
we have seen (pp. 61-00), the behavior of a newborn baby 
in any society is dominated by the satisfaction of basic needs. 
He has yet to become a socialized being. This socialization, 

■* See, for example, A. Geaell, Waif Child artd Human OkSd, New York: Harper, 
1040. 

* See, for example, M. Meed (ed.), Cooperation and CompHUion Amorte 
People, Now York: MoGraw-HIll, 1048; and M. Mead, iha SoUlk.SM, 'New 
I York: Morrow. 1080. 



254 Aai Outline of Social Psychology 

this formation of the ego, ia not a mystic process. It is inferred 
from the behavior of the growing child. And in view of all tlie 
controvei'sy centeiing ai'ound man*s social nature, it is gratify- 
ing to find that the psychology of the early period of ego foima- 
tion is on© of the firmly established, repeatedly verified areas in 
psychology." 

Prom the mass of observations of cliild behavior, storting 
with the works of Tiedemonn, Darwin, Preyer, and Shinn,’ 
down to the contemporary controlled observations of Gesell,® 
one finds that even the body is not experienced os tlie individ- 
ual'a own from the outset. Psychologically, tlio parts of the 
body hecome his in the course of his genetic development. 
Through repeated contact, manipulation — even the hitting and 
banging— of his own body and other objects in liis environ- 
ment the baby learns to differentiate his body from the outside 
world. One of Preyer*a observations of his own child will make 
the point clearer: 

How little is gained for the devdopment of the notion of the 
by means of tlie first movements of the hands, which the infant early 
carries to his mouth, and which must give him, when he sucks them, 
a different feeling from that given by sucking the finger of anotiier 
person, or other suitable objects, appears from the fact that, e.g., my 
child for months tugged at his fingers as if he wanted to pull them off, 
and struck his own head with his hand by way of experiment. At tiie 
dose of the first year he hod a fancy for striking hard substances 
against his teeth, and made a regular play of gnashing his teeth. 
When on the four hundred and ninth day he stood up straight in bed, 
holding on to the railing of it with his hands, fts bit on his haee 
om, and that the upper ann, so that he immediately cried out with 

* For n partial review of Uiia evideiuie, see Iif. Sliorif, Tk9 Ftyoholofy of Sooial 
Norma, New York: Harper, IQSSi pp, ISS-IM; end for an expansion of fiiia rovlow, 
Mr Sheri! and H. Cantril, The Payohotogy qf Egthinvdvammta, New York: Wiloy, 
J047, chap. 7. 

' ’ C. Murchison and S. Longer, Tiodemonn’s observations on tlio development of 

flSie mental faculties of children. J. Oonet, Payohal., 1027, 84, 205-280; C. Darwin, 
Blo^aphical sketch of an infant, ilffnd, 1977, 2, 885-204; W. I’reyer, ThaMind qf tka 
^ tOhUds Part II, Tha Dn^pmant of lha liMtaot, New York: Appleton, 1800; M. W. 
fihinn, Nofei on DaaNopmM ^ a Child, Unimaity of Califomia PtMiealiona in 
Sdmdion, Berkeloy: The Uidveraify lhass, vol. 1, 1800: vol. 2, 1007. 

* A. Gesell and H. Thompson, Tha Psyohology qf Early Orowlh, New York: 
Maomillan, 1088; and A. Gesell and F. L. Ilg, Infant and GkUd in the Cnliura of Today, 
New York; Harper, 1048. 



Ego-Involvements g55 

pain. Tlie marks of the inciaors were to be seen long afterward. The 
child did not a second time bite himself in the am, but only bit his 
fingers, and inadveiiently his tongue (p. 180). 

How little ho understands, even after the first year of his life has 
pa^ed, the difference between the parts of his own body end foreign 
objects is shown also in some strange experiments that the child con« ' 
ducted quite independently. Ho sits by mo at the table and strikes 
ve^ often and rapidly with his hands successive blows upon the table, 
at first gently, then hard; then, with the right hand alone, hard; next, 
suddenly strilcea himself with the same hand on the mouth; then he 
holds his hand to his mouth for a while, strikes the table again with 
the right hand, and then all of a sudden strikes his own head (above 
the ear). The whole performance gave exactly the impression of his 
having for the first time noticed that it is one thing to strike oneself, 
one’s own hard head, and another thing to strike a foreign hard object 
(forty-first week) (pp. 100-101). 

Thus, at a time when the attention to what is around is already 
very for developed, one's own person may not be distinguished from 
the environment. . . . Nay, even in the nineteenth month it is not yet 
clear how much belongs to one’s own body. The ^diild had lost a i^oo. 

I said, “Give the shoe.’* He stooped, sojaed it, and gave it tb me. 
Then, when I said to tlie child, as he was standing upright on the 
floor, “Give the foot,” . . ♦he grasped at it with both- tods, end 
labored hard to get it and tod it to me (p. 100).* 

Anotlier concrete example of the fact that th^ child, must 
learn to differentiate his body from the external world is found 
in the observations of chil(lren*8 behavior before a mirror, 
Heports by Darwin, Preyer, and Gesell, for example, all agree 
tliat at first the child responds to his image as tliough it were 
anoHier real person, even engaging in (^tter, kissing, etc, 
In Gesell’s words: “It is doubtful whether the infant identifies 
himsdf in any way with the image, Even at the age of years 
a pair of twin girls made misintei’pretations of their mirror 
images. Each considered the image not a self-image, but called 
it by the name of the co-twin.” Of courab most children, not 
having a live “self-image,” Uarn that their reflection is an 
image much earlier. 

A more integrated picture of ego formation may be obtained 

• W. Proyer, op. oil, 

u GeadUandTliompsoa, op.oi(,-, p. 041. '>• ' “ / ' ' 



S56 An Outline of Social Psychology 

s 

by reference to tlie research of Piaget and his collaborators,^^ 
Piaget’s observations indicated that at first tlio infant psy- 
chologically floats “about in an undifferentiated absolute” 
(p. 128). Li this imdiffei'entiated absolute there ni'e no psy- 
^ological boundaries between one’s own body and other 
objects, between reality and fantasy or wish, between sub- 
jective and objective. Thus a distinct ego experience is the 
“result of a gradual and progressive dissociation, and not of a 
primitive intuition” (p. 128). The dominant principle that 
regulates the orientation of behavior at tliis time, as we have 
seen earlier, is the satisfaction of the momentaiy needs or wishes 
as they ai*ise. Accordingly* one reacts differently to the some 
objects as one’s needs or wialies change. The infant may give a 
positive reaction toward on object or person now, but may 
react negatively a little later. ]^*om the point of view of the 
adult, such behavior is “inconsistent.” But it is consistent in 
that it follows the variations in needs oj* wishes. 

On account of the resistances that he meets in tlie cxtei'nal 
world, the individual has to make adaptations to reality. This 
means that he has to make distinctions between what is him- 
self and what is not, what is wish and what is reality. Witli 
these distinctions, logical consistency dawns. But at first, the 
child still acts and talks as though his own wishes and desii'es 
were the center of I'eference of tlie whole world; lienee there is 
not yet much logical consistency, which is achieved only thiHiugh 
sticldng step by step to some well-established premise. In tliis 
process tlie undifferentiated absolute breaks down; the realiza- 
tion of reciprocal relations among otlier people and ourselves 
evolves. Por the realization of reciprocal relations one has to 
grasp that there are other points of view besides one’s own. 
And in order to grasp this child must be able to separate 
himself from the external world. 

The main fact that we draw from Piaget is that the child’s 
behavior is at first dominated by autism, which is governed 
chiefly by the satisfaction of momentary needs or wi^es; and 
that as tlie child meets external i*esistaiices he adapts himself to 
reality gi'adually. In this process the $go develops, 

J. PiagoU The Child^a CoMepHon q/ Phytkal Cmealiie, New York, llorcourt, 
Brace, 1030; J. Piaget, Judgmeal and Reaeoning (he QhM, Now York, Horcourt, 
Bioce, loss. 



Ego-Involvements g67 

Gescll and Ilg made extensive observatioiis of child b eh avior 
at various ages, from which die developing ego fonnation may 
be infeiTed.” For example: 

By 40 weeks or a year he has made significant advances in self- 
discovery. Whether sitting up or lying down, his arms and hands now 
have more freedom of movement, and he uses them to explore his own 
physical self. ... In tlie period from ItoB years theie is an increasing 
amount of social reference. Although the infant-child is capable of 
long stretches of self-absorbed activity, he is also given to numerous 
social advances. . . . He extends a toy to a person; he holds out his 
arm for the sleeve; he says **tR-ta**; he hands the empty cereal dish to 
his mother; . . . By oil these tokens and devices, he builds up a vast 
body of specific perceptual experience which ultimately enables him 
to draw the momentous conclusion that there ore other persons in the 
world more or less like himself (p. 386). 

Two years is a transitional period when the child both dings to 
moorings and cuts from them. Johnny Is his name, and in his inarticu- 
late psychology, the spoken word Johnny which he hears ia nothing 
more or less than he himself! His name is Jolumy as a person. He will 
soon use the pronouns yout m«» and I, — a further indication of a 
fundamental change in the psychology of his self (p. 3S7). 

Even by the age of S yearSf ... he knows his own sex with a^ur- 
ance. His interest in human anatomy remains strong; he talks freely 
and naturally about differences whidi he has observed (pp. 388-330). 

Between 6 and 6 years the cliUd . . . has lost some of the sophomoric 
traits of 4 year oldness, and has more sense of status and propiiety. 
He has a better appreciation of the folkways of culture. He shows t^ 
conservatism of youth in deferring to them, and citing them to his 
parents for tlieir consideration. He does not want to be different from 
humanity (p. 340). . 

. 7 

,Only around the oge of 72 months does the child begin 
‘‘setting up standards for himself.” 

Aa (^ell observed, children usually Brst use the^' own 
names in referring to tlieinselves, ^d only latei* minB, ms, and 1, 
roughly in that order. And the concept ire appears considerably 
later.^* With language development, a more adequate dis-' 
ci'imination between self and sot-self is accompanied by the 

^ Gesoll and IlSi oy« o{<. 

Ab reported by M. 8. Usher, tiBnguogc pattcrns.of pruohpol childr^, Buieau 
of Publicatbns, Teacliftr's Coliog^-Colui^U University, 1984. ‘ 



An Outline of Social Psychology 

elaboration of the ego to include attitudes both toward one’s 
self and towoi'd relations to the many objects and persons in 
one’s environment. It mokes possible the incorporation of 
accumulated social norms and values, standards of behaving, 
aspirations, presci'ibed loyalties and responsibilities. But at 
iirst, the child does not adopt tliese social norms as his own. 
They are imposed by grownups and are often followed in an 
inaccurate way. The following observation illustrates this 
point: ’*The little girl has been told she should not let a little 
boy see her in her underwear. The little boy raps on the door 
and the little girl who is in her underwear says, ‘Wait just a 
minute.’ She takes ojf the unacceptable underwear and now 
naked, tells the little boy he con come Even as the child 
grows older, he may Jtnm very well the norms of various groups 
but may not ad in terms of them because they ore not his am. 

At this point Piaget’s work, The Moral Judgment of ike 
Child, is especially illuminating.'” The findings of a whole series 
of coordinated investigation ore that all rules (of language, logic, 
morality, and society, including even the rules of gomes) are 
first external to the child. Moral rules or norms (as wdl as 
others) oi-e at first imposed on him from without (heteronomy). 
Even though he is mode to abide by them because of the au- 
thority of grownups, he lapses easily, giving in to his desires 
whenever he is -not under the grip of oxtei’nal authority. For 
these externally imposed rules or norms have not yet become 
his own rules or norms. 

Through participation in age-mate group activities, the child 
learns to grasp reciprocal humon relatlonsliips. In Piaget’s 
words : ” From the moment that children really begin to submit 
to rules and to apply them in a spirit of genuine cooperation, 
they acquire a new conception of these rules ” (p. 89). “Hence- 
forward, he will not only discover the boundaries that separate 
his self from the other person, but will learn to understand the 
other person and be understood by him ” (p. Oil) . Thus, through 
cooperative participation he comes to accept the group norms 
as his own and to develop his identifications, loyalties, and 
innei' responsibilities toward them (autonomy). Otherwise, 

** Thla oliaervaUoii was communicated to tbe autlior by Dr. Muy Cover Jonea. 

u 3. Piaget, Tk» l^oral Judgment Vte Child, Londoni Eegos, Paul, 1DS2. 



Ego-Involvements g69 

he considers norms imposed on him by sheer authority as 
nuisances to be evaded whenever possible. 

On the basis of such concrete results of genetic psychology, 
Piaget gives an excellent criticism of sociologists like Diu-kheim 
who are not greatly concerned with genetic development and 
who miss the important properties of co-acting socid groups in 
which regulating norms spontaneously arise. By missing this 
important conti'ibution of child psychology, sociologists of 
iDurkheim’s type come to believe that society [the di<hotoiny 
and contrast being between it and the individud] alone stands 
above individuals; from it emanate oil authority and prestige” 
(pp. 350-S57). Such psycholo^ leads to the conception of the 
child as simply a creature to be filled with the authority and 
values of society) and to **a defense of the methods of author- 
ity” (p. 869). 

An effective grasp of the noxms of his social groups, of pre- 
scribed relations with others around him comes only after the 
child has assimilated tliese noims as hU own. And this effective 
incorporation is very largely due to the grasping of reciprocal 
relationships in interactions with other persons, particularly 
with othoi' children. It has been amply demonstrated that very 
young children cannot participate in group activities. In fact, 
one index of ego development is an increasing capacity to take 
port in play as a member of an age-mate group. The develop- 
ment is revealed as the child grows older by the increasing 
length of time in which he ^gages in collective activity, the 
increasing size of the group (number of members), and the 
increasing complexity of rules to be observed.^* (^ly as he 
learns his own position relative to other individuals around 

** Seo, for exnroploi M. B. Partan, Social pnrUcipntbn amoog prs-sdhool cbddron, 
J, Abn, ffe 800 . P^poAot, loss, 87, 848-SOOi M. B. Fwtcp, LwlmHp lunolngpre-flflhooi 
children, J, Ahn, A Sac. lOSS, 37, 4S0-440; B. Flutes, Social phw asumg 

pre-achool children, J. Abn, A Soo, Pcffehal., 10S8, 06, 180-147t A. 6. Col- 

lective behavior of children at a pre-sebocl age, J. 8 oe. Pijfob^, IO8A 1, 807-^78; 
A. F. Beaver, The initiation of ao^ contacta by pre-ochobl ehildfen, CA^d Dndop. 
3fonoffr., no. 7, Tiber's College, 1088; B. U. Qnm, Gro;^. playing and quarrdin; 
ainong pro-aohool oliUdren, Ckild Pauiop,, 1038, 4^ 808-807; B. ,V« C. Betne, An 
eiporimental inveatigation of social behavior pattemi In ypung abUdren, qf 

lown Siudt GhUd TVdSnta, 4, so. S, 1080; K. M. B. Bridges, The Sooitd and JSno- 
tionaj Dao^pment qf iba PpMobod Child, LoodonS ’nenoh, T^ner, 1081; ondXi. B; 
Miirpliy, Sooial BekaAor and ChUd PmonaUtyt Slev Vork : Columbfn Univanity 'Crm 
1087. 



280 An Outline of Social Psychology 

him con the child successfully participate in group activi- 
ties. 

A good many studies indicate that some ego formation is 
necessaiy before competition, cooperation, sympathy, setting 
of goals or aspiration levels, or prejudice start to operate 
aa factors, consiateuUyi as they do for adults. (Tl\e degree of 
ego formation necessaiy for the appearance of voi'ious of those 
factors may differ.) Wolf found that the younger and less 
mature children in her study gave little indication of a com- 
petitive attitude.*^ Berners I'esults indicate tliat cooperative 
beliavior and responsibility for self and others inci^eose signifi- 
cantly with age, aa Piaget’s results also indicate.^* A signifi- 
cant age t]*end for the appeoi’ance of sympathetic responses to 
the distress of others was found by L. £. Murphy.^'* The experi- 
mental studies of Greenberg and Rosenzweig ” furnish evi- 
dence that the level of aspiration does not seem to appear 
clearly until the child has foiiued some conception of his 
''self,’* has developed a sense of "pride** which he feels must be 
maintained. Goodenough made on important link when she 
noted that '‘goals are not dearly realized until aftei’ the 
crystallizing effect of verbal formulation has taken place and 
the distinction between the self and not self has become 
sufficiently advanced to give form and pattern to the child’s 
social attitudes. . . ” 

In her provocative study of racial aspects of self-identi- 
fication, Ruth Hartley concludes that her data point to a "con- 
cept of group consciousness and group identification as on 
intrinsic aspect of ego development.” ” K. B. and M. K. Clark, 
who continued this line of research with Negro children, also 

T. H. Wolf, Tlie effect of praise and competition on the penlsting behavior of 
kindergarten children, Uniwrtili/ of ifinniwola IruHtuto qf OMti Wt^aro MoMgf> 
Qoriff, 1088, no. 18. 

^ Berne, op. off. 

L. B. Murphy, op. oU. 

<0 F. J, Greenberg, Competition in children, Amor. J. Pspokel., 1082, 41, S21-84B. 

^ S, Bosoneweig, Preferences in the ropetiUon of successful and unsuccessful 
activities eb a function of and persoDality, J. Qenet. iPegoAoi., lOSS, 42, 428^1. ' 

** 7. L. Goodenough, Doodopmonid PtyoholoffHt Nerr Yorb Appleton-Centuiy, 
2nd ed., lO'iS, p. 480. 

** For B. BuUey, see B. Horowits, Bacial aspects of self-identifloatlon in nursery 
whoel children, J. Soo, Psycftol., 1080, 7, 00. 



Ego-Involvements 261 

found that awai'eness of membei'ship in a social group is an 
integral port of ego formation, and that “concepts of self 
gleaned from concrete physical characteristics of perceived 
self become modified by social factors taking on a new defini- 
tion in the light of these social factors.** “ 

These results, token in conjunction with ethnological find- 
ings, may be cited as conclusive evidence of the learned cliar- 
acter of sucli social components of "human nature** os well os 
of the genetic characler of the ego itself. 

But the constellation of attitudes comprising the ego does 
not consist solely of aoetal values. As Wallon has emphasized, 
and os we shall see in Chapter 15 , both the material and the 
social circumstances surrounding the child determine in a major 
way the character of his ego.^‘ The general technological level of 
the milieu, tlie amount and kind of toys and games, the size 
of the living space, the kind and amount of nourishment, the 
kinds of material opportunities, and the like, as well as values 
and norms, enter to shape his psychological identity. Depend- 
ing on such factors, he may feel sti'ange when only a mile 
away from his house. If he grew up in a pnmitive village, 
he may be ovei’whelmcd by the mem sight of Times Squai‘e 
in New York, Such material cuxiumatances voiy vastly from 
doss to doss and from society to society. 

In stating these broad outlines concerning the trend of ego 
formation, we have largely ignored the factors leading to varia- 
tions in the si)ced of its development, and the tremendous 
valuation in organization and particular components in the 
individual cliild. Obviously, every child does not incoiporate 
all of the norms of Ills general culture or even of his own group. 
The range of his sodal contact is resti'icted by tlie rOnge of liis 
receptivity. The norms that will be most effective for an indi- 
vidual will be those of his paiticulor membership and refei'ence 
groups. Ilis ego formation also will vary in its components, its 
relative rigidity or flexibility, etc,, in terms of his case history, 

** K. B. Clark nnd M. K. CInrk, Tha development of con^uanoas of and the 
emergepco of social idontlAcntiona in Negro pro'SCbool chlldreo, Soi, Ptj/duin 
1080, lO; 601-S00i £. B. Clark and M. K. Clark, Skin color os a factor b' racial idenU- 
flcfttion of Negro pre-school <^il(lren, J, Sw, PfS9hol., 104^, U, 158-100, 

** H. Wallon, Ln (irigiiw du earaclkre ckoM Faria: Fresiea tJnlvcMtuM 

deVronco, lOSS. 



202 An Outline of Social Psychology 

e.g., the kind of treatment received from adults, opportunities 
for language development, contact with cultural products, 
treatment by and associations with age-mates, etc. Such varia- 
tions constitute iinporta t problems in the study of individual 
differences. 

Regressions and Breakdowns of the Ego Under Given Sit- 
uations 

Since the ego is a genetic formation, since it consists chiefly 
of attitudes which come to form the individuars identity, it is 
not flxed or immutable. Various degrees of breakdown or dis- 
integration of the ego-attitudes are facts of everyday experience. 
Under the overpowering urge of a basic (biogenic) drive, such os 
hunger or sex, the ego may break down and the organism be 
directed, without regard for social niceties, towmd the biologi- 
cally significant goal object. fact, ego-breakdown may be 
taken as one of the consequences of prolonged deprivations. 
In Chapter 4, we saw many examples of such breakdowns. 
Thus, the starving conscientious objectors cored not a whit 
about appearing to be gentlemen; tliey even licked their 
plates clean in the presence of others. Thus Genei'al Wainwright 
and his fellow prisoners dropped tlieir Belf-i*eapect as Allied 
officers to do menial tasks for a little mol's ''work rice.'* Thus, 
the starving mothers not only engaged in prostitution but sent 
their childr^ on the streets to get a little more food. And, under 
the desperate stress of starvation, tlie mother gave her baby 
away that she might obtain food. Such examples of breakdowns 
of ego values could be multiplied almost indefinitely in cases of 
stress from the various basic drives. For just as norms and val- 
ues arise from the structure of society through the interaction of 
individuals and thus comprise the superatructure of society, 
so the interiorized social norms (social inhibitions and aspira- 
tions, loyalties and responsibilities, etc.) constitute the super- 
st/nioture of the individual's psychological functioning. This 
superstructure is subject to breakdown, leaving the organism 
functioning closer to the biological level. Motives which are 
pai’t of the ego, soaiogenio motives j tend to drop out of the pic- 
ture when the stress of a Inogenio motive (or motives) becomes 
unbearable. The necessity for distihguisbing tlie origins of the 



Ego-lnyolvemeiits 

various motives in man (bioffsnio or ^ocioffenio) becomes even 
more evident than when the distinction was Brst made (pp, 
12 - 14 )* 

Less consequential coses of ego-breakdown or regi'essions 
may be found merely by looking around us. The top-hatted 
dignified gentleman who goes to a party with his wife loses 
all of his pomp after a few drinks of <mampagne and may begin 
maldng obscene remarks and gestures. When tired, the politest 
of ladies may make rude remarks to all who come her way. 
Under situations of stress or conflict, a person may act '^'like 
a baby,** or regress. 

Under extreme stress, as during war, catastrophe, or depres- 
sion, individuals may very well become “different people** or 
collapse or destroy themselves. Thus, during the d^ression 
years after World War I, suimde, the actual destruction of the 
self, occurred hot only among the unemployed, but also among 
people who bad lost their businesses or enough money so that 
they could not continue life in the manner that they had come 
to consider ihoir way. The psychological effect of prolonged 
unemployment has been found to include a breakdown of ego- 
attitudes, a narrowing of the ego boundaries, and even coUapse 
of the ego formation. Thus the unemployed man may come to 
feel himself as iseless, superfluous. He may find that he has to 
beg, to be humble, unlike his former self. Eisenberg and Lasars- 
feld found “that the last stage of unemployment consists of a 
general narrowing of activities as well os of outlook on lifoi 
There is also a narrowing of wants and needs. Yet there is a 
limit beyond which this narrowing cannot go; otherwise a 
collapse occurs.” “ 

The most vivid illustrations of ego-breakdown perhaps are 
found in injury or surgical treatment, of the frontal lobes. 
Partioularly in prefrontal lobotomy and lobectomy; which 
have been performed on neurotic and psychotic patients, is: 
demonstrate the dependence of ego formation and functioning ( 
on the conceptual^ symbolic level of f unctip^g^-a level made 
possible by the devdopment of the frontal lobes in. man. In 
lobectomy, a portion of the gray matter is removed. Lobotomy 

** F. Eisenborg and F. F. iMwafeld, The |»ychological effecU of unemploysiont, 
P«irflAo2. Ftik, loss, Stf, 878. . ' ' ! 



284 An Outline of Social Psychology 

U a less serious operation involving the severance of fibers be- 
tween the frontal areas and the thalamus. Here we can men- 
tion only those effects of lobotomy which are most relevant to 
our problem.” 

We shall see, as reiiorted by Sullivan and otliera, tliat anxiety 
does not develop until the individual's identity is in some de- 
gree formed. Convei'sely, prefrontal lobotomy, while removing 
'^planning*' functions of the brain and hence the individual's 
ability to act in accordance with the intcriorized social norms 
whicli constitute such on important port of tlie ego, results in a 
feiuebion of anxiety. In reporting the results of prefrontal 
lobotomies on patients suffering from neurotic sym])toms 
characterized by anxiety, Freeman and Watts say ^at even 
in severe coses . . prefrontal lobotomy has succeeded in re- 
lieving tlie underlying emotional tension to a degree where the 
various symptoms are of little importance in the life of the indi- 
vidual. Indeed, tliis emotional tension underlies so much of the 
symptomatology that it would seem as if tl\e operation suc- 
ceeded more or less specifically in removing tlie basis for Uie 
complaint.” ” 

Freeman and Watts made the following conclusion concern- 
ing the effects of the operation upon behaviors "Inertia and 
lack of ambition, lost qf what is commonly called se^f-con" 
eoiouaneesj indifference io the opinions oj othere, eaHffacHon mth 
performance even though this may be of inferior quality and 
quantity — these may be considered among tlie primary results. 
Euphoria, evasion, bluffing, talkativeness, moria, aggressive 
beliavior, teaalng, indecent acis^ inattention, poor judipnenb— 
tliese might be classed among seoondniy results” (p. SOS, 
italics mine). 

The conclusive implication of these findings, indicating that 
the functioning of ego relationships takes place on a conceptual 
level, is furtlier substantiated by Landis and Bolles in the 
following summary of the effects of lobotomy:” 

^ Por A eoiuuae Aocoimt of theso eiTocti, aeo G. T. Morgnn, Pkynologieat Pfytgtology, 
New York; MoOraw-Hill, 1648. 

** W. Freeman and J. W, WoUa, reifehonuyAry, Springfield: C, C. Thomas, 1649, 

p. m 

” C.LuidiaandM.BQllea raellwoftcir/l&normafPfpoAo/opyiNewYorktMaciDillan, 
1940. 



Ego-Involvements 265 

The surgical severing of the nerve tracts connecting the frontal 
lobes and tlie thalamus has marked ps^cholo^col effects, jmrHcularly 
in relation to aetf-conaeiomneaa. , . . The use of this surgical technique 
with mental patients produces some aatonishing results, particularly 
a riduciwn of ae^-conmnoumaaa and a loaa of *'paydtio yain** Intellect, 
as measured by the standard intelligence tests, is usually unchanged 
alter the operation. In many instances the uae which ia made (finidli- 
genee in social and jieraonal relaiionakipa ia atmewliai diminiahed. As a 
consequence, some patients become indolent and exhibit a marked 
lack of social tact (p. 481, italics mine). 

Patients who have undergone this operation are different from iheir 
prepaychotio aelveat although sometimes the difference is not immedi' 
ately recognizable. They ai*e apt to be somewhat indolent; they are 
often outspoken, aaying ihejirai thing that cornea into their heada rather 
than wailing to ^link what reaponae ike remarJe toiU produce tn otkera. 
They are aware that they ore liaaty, undiplomatic, and and 

often are sorry and apologetic. The emotional reactions are brisk, but 
shallow and short-lived. They laugh more and ore of quicker temp^. 
There ia an abaence of brooding the hurifaelingst the pouting, 

and the grim silences whi^ marked them before the operations 
(pp. 43^433, italics mine). 

A Gharaoterization of the Dcvdopxng Ego 

Ego formation, then, stoi’ts witli the facing of external 
reality. In adapting to external reality the child has to dis- 
tinguish between himself and extemnl things. He meets re- 
sistances in his surroundings. Now what do these resistances 
consist of? They are the resistances of inanimate objects around 
him, and the opposition and hindrances offered by othei' people, 
such os parents and nuraest 

But ore even the objects around him devoid of somal mean- 
ing? Most of tlie objects^chah's, tables, walls, pictures on the 
w^ls, etc. — are social products. They ai’e found in certain 
standardized proportions and forms; and different cultures have 
different proportions and forms. This is. importont: these 
objects i'e])resent definite perceptual relationships. They have 
on effect in shaping his taste for friims and, proportions. Con-, 
sequently, when later die child is sun'ounded by other proporr 
dons representing a, diffei'ent culture, he may find these new 
objects queer or. repugnant. 



^06 An Outlme of Social Psychology 

In addition to protecting the child from dangers and taking 
care of his basic biological needs, how do the parents and others 
around him influence him? T^iey develop in him the means of 
communication (language and gesture); they put limitations 
on what he can do; they tell him what a good or a bad boy is 
like, what is proper and what ia not proper. All these things are 
determined by socially prescribed norms. Bight from the start 
the child grows up in an atmosphei'e heavily chai'ged with 
soeiolb' eatablislied values. He ia fully immersed in them; they, 
more than the baptismal water, axe what develop him into a 
good Baptist, for example. He is told that he is Johnny, and 
Johnny is this or thab-*that he is a boy, and boys do this and 
not that. 

In short, beginning with his body, what he includes in ‘1*’ 
are the things, meanings, and Qualities I'elated to him os 
or **me,** so that the ‘*1** connections grow numerous and com- 
plicated. A complex formation takes place around tlie 'l,**and 
this has relations with many diflferent things, including his own 
body os a whole, the different parts of his body, his clothes, the 
people around parents and others who are close — 

and inanimabe objects around him. Thus this formation around 
the consists of a complex system of relations. 

Social values— the .socimly standardized relations— consti- 
tute no small part of the ego. Even in the cose of the most 
obvious and visible content included in namely, one's 
own body, there ore noims attached to it: what port of the 
body one may expose and what part not, and when; what 
one has to do with it when meeting certain people or appear 
ing in a certain group; what parts of one's body one can make 
appear more desirable, and in what ways one may properly do 
this, as a child, as a woman, os a man. Coi’rying tlie burden of 
our egos, we And ourselves nearly always in situations that im- 
pose definitely prescribed demands on us. In the household, 
in school, in business, in the ofiice, in the meeting, and even in 
a love situation, we stand in more or less definite socially pre- 
scribed relationships to other individuals, and to the whole 
situation. To aloi'ge extent our status, what we oi'e in this situa- 
tion, and how we shall feel and aoi, are prescribed by social 
values. (We have no desire to minimize the role of the unique 



Ego-Involvements 267 

properties of each specific situation.) Even what a husband 
and wife may expect from each other, their privileges 
duties, vaxy from one cultiire to another (and the objective 
variation in responses is less important ihan the social adapta- 
tion and inteipretation). Because of these variations, the ego 
of a wife in a given culture may be injured by a given act of the 
husband, whereas in a different cultiiie a wife may not look 
upon such an act os an ego problem at all, and so does not get 
hurt. Individual differences enter here, but it is not difficult 
to find examples in which these standardized ego-involv^nents 
stand out strikingly despite the range of individual variation 
within one culture. 

This complex formation revolving around the **I“ notion 
becomes a veiy important part of the whole psychological 
make-up of the adult. The val-ues form no small part in its con- 
stitution; and it determines goals to be attained, and regulates 
to a largo extent our likes and dislikes in the social sphere. It 
enters as a factor in the regulation and modification of in- 
stinctive strivings. Formed in the course of contact ynik exter- 
nal reolity while **floatingin an undifferentiated” autism which 
is moved primaiily by the momentary needs and wishes, the 
ego may be referred to os a “system or complex of systems, a 
functional part region within [the] psychological totality,” ” 
Not every experience is a part cff the system evolved around Ihe 
core “I.” As the facts reviewed in our short survey of its forma- 
tion lead us to believe, the ego system segregates itself from the 
rest of the psychological totality with more or less firm boimd- 
aiiest The boundaries U'c not rigid entities; tlie “boundaries 
of the ego are variable,” and they “will vary from case to 
cose.” They shrink .and expand with the established 

relationships that ore aroused at the moment, Under stress 
of exhaustion, or drunkenness, or the complete dominance of 
lust or hunger, the boundaries of the self may be brok^ thrpu^ 
by strong biological impulses, and the result is a regression 
toward the absolute autism that we saw in children. Of course 

*0 K. Lowin, Dynamic Thedry.i^'PertoMlity, New Yoric: 

p.a6. 

K. ICoffka, Primi^M of Qntali Pwholtfgtfi NeV Yoric: Harcourt^ Brace, 1080,, 

pp. $38, $W- ' , 



268 An Outline of Social Psychology 

this is not the autism of a helpless child, but the autism of a 
grownup "making a fool of himself** to others who have not 
thus regressed; or of a person living as an escape from reality 
in a self-made world of pure fantasy (a lunatic dreamer) ; or of a 
reckless person who gets what he wants because he is powerful. 

This brings us dose to the important contribution of psycho- 
analysis, to tile basic trutli that we cannot help finding in the 
dramatic conceptualizations of Pi’eud and his followers. Espe- 
cially impressive is tlie systematic development presented by 
Preud in The Ego and the Id. In genetic development tlie child 
starts with the undifferentiated id, consisting of instinctive 
strivings that are set for gratification. We have already dealt 
with the problem of basic drives and the minimum criteria for 
singling them out. We have seen the fallacy of using any single 
drive as the magic principle to explain all human behavior and 
culture (Chapter 2). According to Freud, in this imdiSeronti- 
ated state the child is dominated by the '^pleasure principle** 
unchecked by other internal factors. In consequence of the 
fruati'ations ^at tlie child meets from the external world, the 
ego develoiis. The super-ego is later differentiated from the ego 
under the infiuence of the environment. The superego criticizes 
and chedcs the domination of the impulses coming from the id. 
The super-ego is derived from parents and others in authority 
around the child.” It reacts to the instinctive demands with an 
"inflexible or veiy nearly inflexible code — ^I’ob’gion, ethics, 
superstition, good manners." ” Whai is this code with its eihioSf 
status regulation, good manners, etc., if not a set of socially 
established valttssf 

With respect to structure, the super-ego may bo likened to 
the ego which we characterized os a complex formation oi'ound 
the notion "I,** of which social values constitute no small part. 
We shall continue to use the term ego in this sense. The psycho- 
analysts themselves ore not always sure in certain cases which 
one of the two, ego or supei'-ego, to choose.” 

** S. Firead, The Ego and the Id, London: Xh and V. Woolf at the Hogarth FroM, 
1927, p. 40. 

” M. D. £der, On tho oconomica and tbe future of the aupor-ego, ltd. J, Payohth 
analyaii, 1020, 10, Sffl. 

M See, for exam^, E. Jonu, The origin and etruetiire of ike mipor-ogo, Ini. J. Peyiduh 
andyaie, 1026, 7, 807. 



Ego-Involvementa ggg 

Ouce formed, the ego (this .includes the super-ego of the 
psychoanalysts) clearly displays affective properties. Objects 
and individuals move us moat deeply and arouse in us the 
sti'ongest reverbei'ations when, besides satisfying the basic 
needs, they ore identified or at least closely linked with our ego. 
Things and persona ore felt witli greater warmth, the more 
intimately they are incoiporated into the core of the ego. The 
main constituents of the ego, social values* are affectivdy 
charged fixations. 

The ofifective property of the ego is expressed in Freud's 
notion of secondary narcissism. One psychoanalyst, James 
Glover, has expressed tiiia as follows: 

When thwarted libido, withdrawn from incestuous love-objects 
installs in tlie self the composite image of these objects, so that hence- 
forth a dilTerentiated part of the self is invested with libido formerly 
attached to supreme love-objects (an image which exercises the pre- 
rogatives of observation, criticism, approval, and punishment formerly 
exploited by its real precursors) then the libido is effectively divided 
against itself, for the narcissistic recompense for renounced object 
gratifications so obtained con only be maintained by inhibition, and 
this inhibition is maintained with the help of affective sanctions os 
strong or even stronger than these dlsciplinaiy self-preservative activ- 
ities. Just os a throat to survival mobilioes the painful affi^ of fear, 
80 an infringement of the ego-ideal loosens the wcondniy nnrcissisni 
found in the cothexis of the ihtrojected parental image and occasions 
the painlul tension of guilt, etc,** 

The feeling of guilt caused by violation of tlie values well 
incorporated in the ego may be token aa an index of the strong 
affective properties which the ego displays. Thepsychoonalyslts 
have furnished us with valuable materid indicating the effects 
of the sense of guilt. The symptoms of. the self-corrective be- 
havior that eases the sense of guilt may find expression iu 
various ways. We cite, os Oh illustration, one pathological case 
connected with the sense of guilt. *'ln tlie case-history of a 
young patient the manifestations of his acutdy conscious sense 
of guilt played a conspicuous part. When he indulged in the 
slightest luxury or pleasum he immediately experienced an 
inner command to be wretched, exhausted and thoroughly ill. 

I* J. Glover, llis conception of the esc, Inf. J, PBy^analyait, 1020, 7, 418. 



370 An Outline of Social Psychology 

He was unable to do any work; his illness had cost him sevei'al 
years that should have been directed to study.” In this case it 
is interesting to note that his ^'father is a clergyman in a am all 
town. He (the father) belongs to a religious sect that professes 
a strict moi'ol codei and is narrow and bigoted in his beliefsj 
although in other respects he is peaceable and easy to get on 
with.” The prohibitions of the mother "concerned not only 
what related to sex but evei'ything that was at all worldly.” “ 

Ego Motives 

Before closing our characterization of the ego, we should 
clarify somewhat the place of ego strivings in the scheme of 
motivation. An unequivocal cliuification of this issue will 
help to end the futile controversies over* "human nature” 
which are used to justify certain practices of exploitation and 
prejudice. As became evident in our brief account of its genetic 
development, the ego is not innate, nor are thei'e any inborn 
di'ives or instincts which may be labeled as ego drives.*’ Ego 
strivings, ore learned and as such vary from culture to 0111101%. 
Ego strivings have no meaning except in connection with our 
relationship to other individuals and groups. The standards 
and aspirations that serve os goals in our personal strivings are 
determined by our relative positions in relation to other indi- 
viduals and groups. 

Primarily ascendant or submissive, cooperative or competi- 
tive, hoarding or collective strivings are not universal in all 
cultures. The main directions of ego-sti'ivlng vaiy from culture 
to culture, as is clearly indicated in many sociological works.*^ 
Even the seemingly most intimate personal attodiments, 
loyalties, and responsibilities represented in kinship relatioh-' 

^ O.Penicbel, Theclm;cala«peeto(UvQm«d{oEputilflhiaent,rn{.ir.Ps 2 /o/k)ana()( 8 M, 
1028, 0, 40. 

I’ For 03CBm|dc, the account of the ego In H. Cantril's Tb» Psychology oif Social 
lionmmtCt New York: 'Wlleyi 1041i which is presented ns based on Sherif's formulation 
in Tho Psyohdogy d Social Norma, includes a section devoted to ego drives, ’riiis was 
cerreoted in Shaif’s joint work witli Contrii, TlicPsydiology of Ego-inwlmaetiii. 

** For example, in M. Mead (cd.). Cooperation and OonpeHHon Among PrimUiso 
Peoples D. Malinowski, The Family Among Amlralian Ahoriginea, London: University 
Press, 1018, p. 284: W. H. B. lUvers, The History of Mdaneaian Sooiely, Combrldge, 
Bngli^: Cambiid^ University Press, 1024, vol, 2, p. 147. 



Ego-Involvements 271 

ships are, we repeat, regulated by the socially established classi- 
fications and standards.^* 

Different virtues may be emphasized in various cultureSi 
The ideal man of the Middle Ages is not among the ideal-man 
types of today. As we saw before, in one culture the highly com- 
petitive successful man may be hailed as hei'o, but in a different 
society such a person may be at a disadvantage. For example, 
in present-day American society, perhaps Uie great banker or 
industrialist has the prestige of being the great man. Prize 
fighters and successful footbdl players and coaches seem to have 
os much glamour as scientists or ai'tists — or even more. On 
the other hand, the Trobrionder, for example, “wants, if he is a 
many to achieve social distinction as a good, gardens and a good 
worker in general.^ Consequently, Ihe incentives that move 
him are different. Individual gain and accumulation of wealth 
are not his primary values. In the Soviet Union, as actual 
study has shown, the hierarchy of values attached to profes- 
sions has been reversed. Thus, Laborers stand high in the scale, 
and bankers and lawyei's are rated low.^^ 

Since values incorporated In the individual arc, in their 
major outlines, social values, it follows that the order of the 
hierai'ohy of values in the personality make-up will correspond 
in a significant way to that of his class or reference group. 
This has. to bo token into account before we can make a satis- 
'foctory attempt to study personality types. 

Some concrete, illustrations of the social, determination of 
feelings of personal failure and success will be presented in the 
next cliaptei*. If it were not for our position relative to other 
individuals or groups, we should be free of ego problems. On 
the other hand, our strivings for food, sleep, rest,’ and sex are 
not dependent from the outset on the presence or ahaende of 
other people. 

Since ego-strivings are depehd^t on the develoipmeiit of the 

** Seo R. H. Lowifli PrimiHM Sooiolyt New Yorkt Botti and Llvorijlht, lOSS, p. 80; 
Rivere, op, mt„ vol. 1, p. SO; A. R. RA^iSe-BrowA, The study of kinship systehu. 
presidential Address, J. Roy, AiUhropd. IiuL qf .Qrtai Brilain .and 'Mandt 1941, 
vol, 71, ports 1 and ii. . 

' B, I^llnowski, ArtiotuniUttftho Wutom Pao^c, London: Routledgo, 1028, p. OS. 

J. I>avl8, Testing the Booiol attitudes of obfldron in the govorpinent sobooli In 
Russia, Amtr, J, BooM,t lOiW, 88, 047-^8, > - , , , ' 



073 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

egO) which is 'a genetic formation) and Since the kind and even 
the degree of ego-strivings within certain definite ranges oi’e in 
the image of the social setting in which tlicy take place, ego 
strivings should be classified with the sadogBnio moHves, But 
their learned sociogenic character does not make them insignif- 
icant, ineffective factors in our lives. Observing the politician's 
lust for ofOce, or the suffering a person may go through to 
belong to a group, etc., no one can deny the urgency, the un- 
mistakable place of ego motives in our lives. To account for the 
striving nature of the ego, we do not have to posit biogenic ego 
drives. 

The positing of instincts of ascendance, submission, ''Drive 
for Autonomy,” “Drive for Social Ties,” "Drive for Achieve- 
ment,” "Drive for Recognition,” "Drive for Control,” has not 
helped our understanding of ego strivings at all. We must look 
for our clues elsewhei'e, in line witli tlie established fact tliat the 
ego IS termed in man alone of all animal species, because only he 
con function on a conceptual level. 

With the above considerations in mind, we cannot help 
finding a substantial truth in the formulation advanced by 
Murphy, Murphy, and Newcomb: ® 

The thing known as the self is a selection and organisation of ex- 
periences involving the visceral tensions, muscular strains, the sound 
of'one's name, one’s mirror. image, and so on: and the thing which 
knows this pattern is simply the organism ns a whole. If tliis is correct,' 
it is easy to see that the self, being a primary source of mkny satis- 
factions', muri ineijUdbly hecome a value. The self is something which' 
we like, and from which we expect much. If this simple conception of 
the self as a value is sound, it becomes possible to eliminate with one 
stroke the supposed .antithesis between Freud’s conception of nar- 
cissism or self-love as a basis for vanity or craving for status, and the 
traditional ossociationist view that we are pleased by prestige, status 
or flattery because thereby we become more likely to obtain concrete 
rewards whicli we desire. Adient responses toward parts of our owii 
body and toward our own voices and mirror images develop parallel 
with the awareness that the self is the thing which will have to be 
enhanced, assisted and rewarded if we, as organisms, are to live 
abundant^ and satisfyingly. The special instinct, vanity, as a basis 

** G. Murpliy, L. B. Murphjr, ood T. M. Newcooul), Sooial Pw^ohgg, 

New Yorlc; Hfti^er, 1997, 



Ego-Involvements 273 

^or the craving for status, vanishes into thin air, as have so many 
other specific instincts (p, 210). 

The self is not only a value; it is & unique sort of value. It not only 
lepresents an immediate object of importaTvce but is also a symbol 
which stands for many other values which may in' time be achieved. 
'When one says that he hopes he is a good enough teacher or bridge- 
pli^cr or diplomat to be successful in new adventures, he relies upon 
the chaioctecUtica of hts empirical self, the adf os he knows it, tb bring 
other good, things within his reach. It is in this sense that the self con 
properly be called a central or organizing value (p. 211). 

The more specific accounting for ego-strivings lies, in our 
opinion, in the referential nature of expenence. As we have 
found, our perceptions, judgments, memories, etc., take place 
in relation to more or less definite reference frames. Even in 
cases of relatively simple events, ambiguity or unstructured- 
ness delays tlie judgment time and renders judgmental activity 
rather tense and difficult. Hus is not a pleasant experience 
even on its simplest level. The ego is no exception to the general 
principle. Once it is fomed with all ’itS< diverse ties in relation 
to goal objects, persons, and groups which stand in tjifferent 
degrees of afiective relationship to it, the ego hos to be anchored 
safely in many capaoities. When these ties are diamipted, We 
experience insecurity and loss of personal identity. In fact, th^ 
feeling of personal security consists mainly of the' stability of 
these ties which originally constitute the foimation of- the ego. 
It is not a coincidence that our main concern when we are con- 
fused and feel .**left out" becomes to belong, to belong at any cost, 
The experiences oi being Uft oni otid marginality in situatibns 
we are facing are painful, and may have unfortunate 'con- 
sequences. Belonpngneee in personal and group, situations be- 
comes our major' effort. One of the telling pieces of' evidence ixi 
favor of this point is tiiat feelings of armepy appear only aftei* 
the ego formation has advanced to some degree bf- consistency. 
The advent of this significant experience as dependent bn the 
development of the ego is- reported by Sullivan -and ' oth^a. 
Sullivan says! ’ ' ’ ■ ’ 

i^bng with leunmg.of language, the child is expeijencug obapy 
stra m tiS on the freedom which it bed enjoyed, up till now. Restraint 



1274 An Outline of ^cial Psychology 

have to be used in the teaching of aome of tlie personal habits that 
the culture requires everyone should show, and from these restraints 
there comes the evolution of the self system — an extremely impor- 
tant part of the personality— with a brand-new tool, a tool so im- 
portant that I must give you its technical name, which unhappily 
ooinddes with a word of common speech which may moan to you 
anything. 1 refer to 

With the appearance of tlio self system or the self dynamism, the 
child picks up a new piece of equipment whicli we technically call 
anxiety. Of the very unpleasant experiences which the infant con 
have we may soy that there ore genericolly two, pain and fear. Now 
comes the tUrd.^ 

The aocial values do not consist only of a set of prohibitions 
or taboos prescribing what is bad or wi‘ong (the negative val- 
ues)! but include also positive values, putting the stomp of 
approval or desirability on certain kinds of acts or accomplish- 
ments; therefore ego-involvement does not appear as merely 
a checking or inhibiting factor; it is also a positive indicator 
of certain lines of action and stiiving. Attainment along these 
lines brings satisfaction. 

As we have seen, a now generation does not form new funda- 
mental norms. The child is bom into society where there are 
established norms. From childhood on, these social fixations or 
values begin to be interiorized in him, and thus set his goals 
within- bounds. In general, he regulates the activities which 
center in the satisfaction of his needs along the channels which 
have the approval of society. If he deviates considerably he is 
acted against either by various social cori'ectives including the 
police force, or by his own ego. He also incorporates in himself 
the values imposing responsibilities and demanding sacrifice. 
In some few individuals tliis aspect may become so strong that 
it overcomes the desires connected with the basic needs. 

It is, of course, indisputable that even though a person may 
have secured some status, he may not be satisfied, but may do 
all he can to attain a higher position. Thei'e are hierarchies of 
positions, and some people seem to have an insatiable craving 

^ H. S. SulUv&ii, <4 Uoism PirsMotry, Waikington: William Alanaon 

White Fsyalilatnc^undaUon, end ed., 1Q17. Roprlnied from'Pi^iahj^r 
and PolQid, ef Jnlerptrt, Rdaitotu, I0<i0, 8, no. 1, and 1040, 8, no. S, p. 0. 



Ego-Involvements 375 

for powei’.^ In short, thei-e are individual differences in this 
respect as in other respects. 

Once we heUmg, just any position in the group will not do, 
We cannot help experiencing oin position in relation to the exist^ 
ing scale of the group (the scale being hierarchical in the case of 
social groups). In the next chaptei, we shall see in the ^iperi- 
mental work of the last decade evidence showing the regu- 
lation of behavior in tei'ms of the individual's relative position 
in the hierarchy of tlie group. 

Now shall we say that at the roots of the ego. which is a 
genetic formation, there is a "dominance drive” that is of 
different sti*ength in different individuals? Or shall we accept 
the instincts of self-assertion and submission? It seems to us 
that we do not have to postulate instincts or drives of domina- 
tion or submission to explain observed individual differences. 
Such drives do not have on assignable locus in the body, such 
as the needs for food and sex have. Our hypothesis is that the 
differences in ego-striving may he due to a number of factors. 
Among tliem ai'e ability (Intelligence)’ difPei'^ces, gla-nduluT 
differences that ore so Important in detefminiag lemperameiit, 
gratifications or fruebations of the major needs such os sex 
and food, and the general bodily condition. 

We start setting goals on the scale of status as determined by 
OUT peculiar pevsoualvty factors. Eoiluve is painful. After some 
trials and defeats, one usually gives up grandiose schemes and 
approximates his goals to his ability (or in special cases he may 
develop delusions) . There are also unf Otriunate people who keep . 
on fighting — ^like. a Don Quixote, In short, individual differences 
in dominance arc extraordinary, an,d seem 'tp yield more 
easily to genetic explanations than to an explanation in terms 
of a universal and powerful instinct. We shall deal i^th -the 
vaxiationa due to personality Actors in Chapter 17 . This 
much we should say here. The results of ascendance and sub- 
mission studies, as well os studies of other such "personality 
features.” when obtained evenbn infra-human priznates. riiould , 
not be glibly carried over to. the human levri-to account for 
differences in ego-strivings. On the human level, different capac- 
ities, different "traits” will infiuence the hierarchical positions 
in the groups as prescribed by the porticul^ gmiip aitimtioh 



276 An Outline of Social Psychology 

and the special forma that regulate hierarchical arrangements 
therein," 

E^o-lnvolvement as a Faotor In the Regulation of Basie 
Motives 

^e membei's of an adult group do not give in to every 
stimulus in the satisfaction of their needs or desires; tlie genei'ol 
orientations of their behavior are not regulated by changes in 
their momentary needs. When desires and wislies do not har- 
monize with the demands of the ego^ they ai'e usually cheeked 
or modified. The term '*ego” is historically endowed with a 
sentimental, fedshistic halo. We must therefore be explicit! 
The ego %a not a fixed entity. It is mode up of relationships that 
are fonned in the course of one*s genetic development, center- 
ing in tiie experience of “I,'* itself a direct product of contact 
with reality. There are such difieixmt things, such different 
persons, such different situations linked witli *‘I,” “me.V 
**inine,*^ that each special cose has to be studied in its concrete 
relationships and seen in its place in make-up of the ego,. 
The ego vqries with tJie varying relationships of members of ihe 
main soeio-eoemomio classes of humanity. The ego reflects memr 
bership in a professional group, a family; it varies witli a man^s 
place as colleague, as teacher, as student, as employer, as em- 
ployee. In eadi case what will elate, what will hurl, what will he 
token for granted is determined by his own special place in the 
situation. A few examples will make this cleai’er. 

It is an eveiyday experience in many social situations that 
men and.womra are treated diffei’ently,- This is especially true 
in societies where a leisiu'e class serves os a model for . the rest 
of the popule,tion. Modes of behavior towaid us wi|l be taken 
as compliment, or os insult, or as something to be tolcen for 
granted, depending mei^ely on wheidicr we are mole, or female, 

** The (oUowing observatlpn by TJirasher In to the i»iiit: '*Tlie marks of lendersiilp 
vary from gang to gang. The type of boy who can lead one gnng may be a failure or 
have a distinctly subordinate role In another. . . . Physical aud athletic pTpTrass, 
which'etand the leader in such good stood in most gangs, for example, would not be 
valued in the folbwing type of group'* (p. SM). After naming tlie spe^l group in ques- 
tion, Thrasher says that “a hunchback was a very successful leader of agong of heathy 
b(^.“ Fr Thrasher, Tko Gang, Chicago: Univer^ty of Chlwgo Press, 1027, i).,8S0. 
To this effect, 'see' alw Chapter 17. 



Ego-Involvements , 377 

The attitudes of others toward us, find our attitudes toward 
ourselves as man or woinan> are to a large extent prescribed by 
social standai'ds ondrelationahips. 

In the young child up to approximately 3 years of age there 
appears ** little evidence of any recognition of such [sex3 dif- 
fex*ences.” Cliildren use the words “bad boy” indiscriminattely 
to both sexes as a term of opprobrium. But after the age of 3 
there is in general “no mis^plicatibn of the words boy or 
girl.** Witli psychological identification of oiuselves as boy 
or girl} and later as man or womant we incorporate into our- 
selves tlie qualities tliat are considered to go with male or 
female choraotei'i&tica in our p^ticulav Bociety» and we feel and 
I'eact in the way “appropriate** to male or female. This is not 
to deny the feelings connected with male or female physiolog- 
ical peculiarities; these ai'e surely only an element^ core in 
the complex experience of maleness or fen^eness. 

If the social custom requires that tlxe woman*8 place is by the 
hearth, tlien the best cook will feeil herself to be the best woman. 
In such a case beauty may be regarded as secondary, OT -even, 
immodest. In godd ^^society” in Ameiica the proper' prooe-. 
dure is for the gentleman to -propose to the lady$ the reverse 
runs counter to a lady*s sense of propnety, If she does propose 
under the sti’ess of strong loye,. she, does, it at Ae cost of hei’ 
“piide,** This practice seems to be just so niuch “human 
nature,’* Perhaps there may be. some biological bias in this 
direction. But among the Eddystone Islanders “ the initiative 
in pi’opoaing moiTiage seems often to come from the women, 
If a girl takes a fancy to a man, she will carry off his basket and - 
run with it to the bush, a custom evidently closely aMociated 
with that of. the which is connected with Warfare. 

Carrying off Uie basket -is aidefiaite of preference and, if 
the man is willing, he will begin negotiating with the parents 
of the girl.” “ Among human groups, generally, the court- 
ship pattei'u may depend loigely on the ^onomic relation of 
the sexes. : .i - ■*, > 

The wme given by the parents to the child and the. place it 

** M. Dillon, Attltudsa of children tcmard their own bodies, OkQd'iDud. Monogr,, 
1984, eBpocUlly pp< 108, 172. 

" W. H. n. lUvori, pi^eMo^ oui Sthnoiog^i Londoni Segoo Poul,' 19S0, 'il.''S0. 



278 An Outline of Social Psychology 

takes in his ego development is another point of interest. 
Many things of importance are oonnected wth a person’s 
name. McDougall rightly remai'ks that one’s name ** becomes 
a handle by aid of which he gets hold of himself and acquires 
facility in thinking and spealdng of liimself os an agent) a 
striver, a desireri a refuser.” In many societies individuals 
must change their names os ptui. of the ceremony when an im- 
portant stage is reached in their lives. The Andamanese girl 
gets a new name at the time of first menstruation. This is 
cdled the "flower name.” Likewise, in one of tlie Melanesian 
groups " on marriage both man and woman cliange their names 
and assume a common name.” The ^European and American 
woman’s change of surname at marriage marks a new attitude 
toward the self j the new fomi^ officially displaces tiie name 
identification of the old. Of special interest is the experience of 
Women who go into professions, and become economically and 
in some other ways independent; some of them do not use 
their married names. It would be interesting to discover what 
type of woman does and what type does not use her married 
name. The place of the name in the developing ego has inter- 
esting reseat possibilities for social psychology. 

Dlverao Kinds of Ego-Involycments 

As we have indicated eoi'lier in this chapter, the concept of 
ego-involvement denotes the psychological functioning in which 
ego-attitudes act os factors, to shape or modify the reaction 
that results at any moment. £go-involv^ent may be a fac- 
tor in leoi'ning, judgment, perception, memory, thinking, and 
other phenomena, os we shdl see in tlie next chapter. 

There are diverse kinds of ego-involvements. We ore related 
t6 objects, pcisoas, givups, and institutions around us in many 
different capacities. With our established ego-attitudes, we 
face diverse kinds of situations, the atmospheres of which are 
Congenial* adverse, demanding, imposing, enhancing, etc. Our 
ego becomes involved in these os determined by the peculiori- 

A. !lladoUfffr>BRnra, Andofflon ItlofuUfs, Cambridge* Blnglandi CjnTiby (/ |g ft 
Tlaiyeialty Press, 1922. p. 116. 

^ W. H. n. lUvers, Bulory of Jielanuian Booidff^ vol. 1, p. 847. 



Ego-Involvements <^79 

ties of each situation. In one» vre ma^ be competing with 
rivals in some task, end we come out on top. Ihe result is 
ego^grat^aHon, We lag behind; the result is ego-frusbraiion. 
In a group of friends we may have no ^go-cmoem. In a situa- 
tion in which we feel our personal worth is at stakO) we become 
highly sensitive. The result is egQ'eaBfpaiisim. Eor some reason, 
we may find ourselves sleeping or traveling with people tliat we 
consider inferior. We feel out of place (^go-msplaommij. As 
will become evident in dealing with the topic of prejudice, our 
relationships to other persons and groups {tgo-link^) may be 
expressed, psychologically, as sgo-distonces. Such ego-distances 
con be and, in fact, are measin'ed. 

We propose, therefore, to use the Bgo^mtohnnmi as a 
general concept to encompass all cases of functioning in which 
the ego enters as factor. The specific cases should be ex- 
pi*essed by more specific concepts, some examples of which 
we mentioned above; their exact tenninology should be worked 
out. We cannot deal with the whole field in a general outline. 
In the section to follow, we shall clarify the fact of ego-involve- 
ment by some specific illustrations. (See also Chapter IS.) 

Some lUustratlons of Bgo-Mlsplaoements 

Out success or fsiluie in a given task or situation is not at- 
tainment os measured objectively, but attainment relative to 
the goal set by us at the tune; and it is experienced as grat- 
ification or frustration of our sense of personal worth. The in- 
volvement of the ego-level consequently influences the goals of 
perfoimsace set by ourselves in conorete situations. If we do not 
wish to hurt ourselves by falling below our' set goals or aspira- 
tions, one way to protect ourselves is to play safe and set -^em 
low. 

Here again social norma prescribe for the individuaL (before 
he has time to make his actual contacts with people and situa- 
tions and thus form his personal standards) in what aHutxtiuyna 
the ego has to be invokedt and to how large on extent, whom he. 
must consider superior and whom inferior to himself. The 
socially prescribed norms determining ego-invoIvei|ients in the 
individual are fairly enduring, lor they proscribe his establish^ 



$80 An Outline of Social Psychology 

standing in many respects. As long os we are in our prescribed 
settingj which, raises no problems for uSi and carry on tlie .busi- 
ness of our daily routine in conformity with what we esspect 
from others and what otliers expect from us^ there are no in- 
tense and violent ego issues. 

' However, the moment strong expectations— pei'sonally 
foimed or prescribed by social norms — ore violated, the ego 
becomes involved and may play the dominating role in detei'- 
mining the behavior. The occasions that arouse sucli ego- 
expansioijs include accidents like an insult from a person from 
whom we expect pleasant treatment, or some loss of status. 
Intentionally we put tlie last statement in a general form, be- 
cause such occasions will differ with tlie porticulai* status of the 
person in question. Each cose has to be studied in all its aspects. 
(We do not wish to mmimi 2 e the importance of the differences 
in individual sensitiveness; we shall have a word to say about 
these in Chapter 17.) 

The socially established norma of prejudice furnish good 
illustrations of tliis point. White people in the southern states 
take for granted the presence in tliefr homes of Negroes as 
cooks, as seiwonts, or as nurses in intimate contact with their 
babies. But tlie presence of a Negro in the some home, witli 
equal etaUia, is sometliing not to be tolerated. The distance 
between white people and Negroes is not a physical one, oi* 
one that is felt tJirough the immediate sense impressions. 
The distance is on ego-distance or social distance, since social 
values (positive and negative) are incorporated in tlic ego. 
When the socially stamped distance of supenor from inferior 
is violated by the presence of an infeiior os equal, the ego-level 
becomes involved. We moy conveniently refer to such coses as 
instances of ego^misplaGement. 

An individual os a member of a group cannot afford to ignoro 
his place iu relation to the social situation. He cannot say that 
he does not know how he stands in relation to another pei'son 
or othei* pei'sons in the situation. As employer or employee, as 
superior or inferior in office or work, etc., we find certain pre- 
scribed requirements determining our status, and we ai'e bound 
to notice ^em. If we fail to notice them, the resistance of the 
other members of the group, sti’ong or weak in proportion to 



Ego-Involvements 381 

our deviation, will command our attention. Thus certain 
enduring standards as to when the ego will be involved, and its 
direction (positive or negative), are seen to be truly “estab- 
lished** foi' us. In coses of ego-misplacement — e.g., when we 
aji'e put in a position below our status or dignity— -or violations 
of a set standard, as when we feel that we have committed a 
deed violating our moral or social values, the degree of frustra- 
tion, or the intensity of the conflict or sense of guilt, will 
probably be proportional to the degree of ego-misplacement. 






■( 


I 



( 



12 , 

Ego-InDoh)ements in Personal 
and Group Relationships 


BOMB OB TUB CONCLUSIONS IN TUB PBBCBDING CHAPTER REACHBIl 

on tbo basis o£geneticipsyclioanalytic> and sociological (etlino* 
logical) work, bare been subjected to experimental verification, 
especially during the post decode. The differential effects of 
egO'inyolvements on judgment, perception, memory, and other 
basic processes have been experimentally obtained and meas- 
ured with some degree of success. In this chapter wc shall pre- 
sent a few studies representative of this rapidly accumulating 
field of research. 

But before considering these experimental findings, wo should 
clarify a point which has been a constant headache in social 
psychology — ^the dichotomy between tlie personal and the 
social. To be sure, all ego-involv^ents are involvements of the 
individual. But the principles governing inteipersonal and 
group relationships 01*6, we repeat, basically the same. In this 
chapter, we shall distinguish between personal and social in- 
volvements so os to follow some order in tlie presentation of 
material. Whether mvealed in strictly personal rclationsliips 
(such os marriage, love, friendship) or derived from groups, 
social norms, or institutions, all sorts of identifications become 
pei'sonol. As Rubinstein aptly indicated, activities in collectives 
become personal when the individual is ego-involved in diem. 
On the other hand, such involvements and others of social deri- 
vation are the social in the individual. Actually, the dichotomy 
of personal and social is a dualism which has come down with 
historical intellectual heritages but which has no validity. Also, 
at least some of the major contradictions tliat cause confiicts 
in the individual in "casuolly patterned societies” are contra- 
dictions that exist, in the social setting. 

232 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 388 

It is necessary to note another closely connected fact: the 
effect of prevailing social norms even on the most intimate 
personal relationships. As the evidence in the preceding chap- 
ters has indicated} there ore social norms (differing in different 
societies) and at diffei'ent pei'iods in the same society) regulat- 
ing even tlie most intimate human relationsh^. The reciprocal 
expectations, loyalties, and responsibilities involved in such re- 
lationships ai*e regulated in their major aspects by these social 
norms. A few concrete examples will make the issue real again. 
Among the peoples whoso conception of marriage is formed by 
the norma of the Mohammedan religion, the practice of a man 
• having more tlian one wife is not considered outrageous, even by 
the wives. (Of course, this docs not mean that no jealousies are 
aroused in situations whera certain women vie to be favorite 
wife.) And there are cultures in which polyandiy is 8tandai*dized 
as a normal practice. 

But one does not have to resort to ethnolo^cal material. In 
the United States, for example, the changing conception, 
rights, status, education of women certainly affected reciprocal 
expectations, approaches, courtship, responsibilities in marital 
and love relationships. Consider American woman of the 
seventeenth century os depicted in the following description 
ofthatpenod: 

The dutie of the husband is to travel abroad to seeke living: and 
the wives dutie is to keeps the house. The dutie of the husband is to . 
get money and provision; and of the wives, not vainly to spend it. 
The durie of the husband is to deele with many men : and of the wives, 
to tolke with few. The dutie of . the husband is, to be entermedling: 
and of the wife, to be splitarie and withdrawne. The dutie of the man 
is, to be skilfull in talke: and of the wife, to boost of silence. The du;de 
pflhehuabandis,tobeB^ver;anddfthewife,toboosiweir. , . .Now 
where the husband and wife perforzaeth the duties in their house ^ 
may call it College of Qyietness : the house wherein they are neglected 
we may term it a hell.^ s 

Certainly the reciprocal expectationa, duties, and treattnent 
of husband and wife then were not what they are (or the con- 

^ Quote'd lay S. 7. Stern in The family aad eoliunl change,' 4mtr, goewt.' jRae., 
1080* 4,a0fl. ' ' ■ ' ; ^ ^ 



384 An Outline of Social Psychology 

flicting trends are) today.* The well-known fact that parent- 
youth relationships are changing, with conflicts resulting from 
the changing times, should Hkewise be mentioned in passing. 

Some of the strong factors in many cases of binding friend- 
ships oi'e determined by group affiliations. Our friends ore usu- 
ally members of our own class, club, fraternity, union, etc. In 
short, even in tlie seemingly most intimate personal involve- 
ments, collective factors ploy a major role. Often, wlien people 
are introduced to each other, they are not introduced simply as 
John, James, Mary, or Martha, but os so and so in some organ- 
ization, club, ethnic group, etc. These labels showing socio- 
economic standing and other status rankings play a definitive 
role at the very start. We shall see some specific verifications of 
such unverbalized and unconsciously achieved effects of group 
factors later in this chaptei*. These are taken so for granted 
that their full significance is glossed over by learned people, 
who somehow tend to look in psychology for tlie bizarre and 
unique rather than the recurrent happenings of our lives. 
This is true even of the social psychologists, and is one reason 
why social psychology has been slow in becoming really 
social. 

Ego-Iuvolvoments In Personal R^ationshlpB 

It is a truism to say that we are involved in ouraelves. in our 
kin, in our friends, rivals, enemies, in the aclilevement of our 
work. As psychologists, after accepting such involvements as 
facts, our approach is to handle them in a conceptual scheme 
and'detect and measure them by controlled observation. 

Laymen os well as psychologists note in their daily contacts 
that people react differently to the same remai'ks, to responses 
of other persons, depending on the established relationships 
between ihem and on the exigencies of the moment. Even wh^ 
we are not in their presence, the things we do are affected by 

* A recent popnlai survey of Uio diEferenoes between women SO yours ago and 
today In SO differant respects gives a summary view of tlie psychological changes in 
women owing, of cofuso, to tho tranafonpatioDf brought about by tlie rapid industrial 
developmonti in AmoiicB. All tbeso cliangea reOect themselves In the doily roclpro^ 
relationships of mon and women in many Gapacities. See James P. Bonder, "Ilbw M !w »h 
Women Change-^nd How Little,** Tht Nno York Timae Magaaino, April 07, 1047i- 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 285 

our opinion of what people who matter to us will thinly of us, 
how they will appraise ua. 

Literary works reports of happenings in actuBl social 
life, rather than the analyses of psychologists, are stiU the beat 
sources of matenal showing tiie effects of ego-involyements in 
their diverse manifestations. ua look fii'st then to these 
sources fpr a few eicamplea. 

In. a description of the great conductor, Toscanini, by one 
of the musicians in his orchestra, we see how a person can be- 
come so involved, so identified -with his work that- he is literally 
deaf and blind to his own behavior. Toscanini has an ** uncon- 
scious habit*' of singing while he conducts. He usually tries to 
do so, accoiriing to this musician, an octave above the instru- 
ment playing the ''lead,** whether it is a piccolo or a bassoon. 
Although he stops a rehearsal with fury if even one false note 
is played by some instrument, he simply' does nOt hear his own 
voice. In one instance, he did hear a voice but, was so involved in 
the music that he had no idea it was his own. M this inuaician 
tells the story! “Once, in Salzburg, the Maeatro was putting the 
otehesira through a tense dress Tehearsalk'His own' siren vocal- 
izing soai'ed out above the instruments. Suddenly his face 
clouded over with a' look of impending storm, His baton, de- 
seeding, with a swish against hi^ desk, halted the orcliestra; 

“ 'Silence,* he roared, '"Who is singing here?* He waited fpt 
the culprit to identify himself. ‘Well, whoever it is will liow 
kindly shut upl* 

*' With a contemptuous look of warning for all, the guilty one 
resumed his conducting. ** ^ ' 

When an individual accomplishes 6ome feat in an activity 
with which he is egodhvoly^, the' accomplishment may be 
magnified in his eyes. Just as people's perception of objects 
which have value for tlicm, like stamps or coins, tends to be 
distorted or exaggei’ated, so ego-involyement may lead to per- 
ceptual exaggerations;’ In Simohov’s' hovel of the momentous, 
ev^ta in Stalingrad, Koiiyukov, a middle-aged’ ‘soldier, cap- 
tured a Gcnnan prisoner. Bringing, him to his commanding 
officer, Snburov, Kbnyukov’a^dr '■ - / ' 

* for Tmcaninit*' ThU liagoMiMi Ntw YorkHwid Much 

l0,lM7,p.80. < • V' 



^86 An Outline of Social Psychology 

I caught him. Ixx>k, I caught him and I give him to you. . . ** 

Konyukov had the look of a conqueror pn hia face. Ji^st like Zhnlr, 
he had tied the prisoner’s arms behind his back, but at the some time 
he kept dapping him on the shoulder in a friendly way. This German 
was hia booty. And Konyukov treated him os if he were his property, 
as he would treat anything else he owned. 

[The capture is so dose to Itonyukov's heart that he sees it as an 
event of first-rate importance]}: “What does he soy? What does he 
say? ” Konyukov asked, interrupting the German two or three times. 

“ He’s saying everything he ^ould say,” Saburov answered. 

“ He’s hoarse. . . . Listen, he’s lost bis voice all of a sudden,” Konyu- 
kov observed with surprise. He was still panting himself from the 
fighting. “ That’s because I strangled him a little. Now he’ll be with- 
out a voice for a couple of weeks, maybe a whole montii,” he added, 
giving the German an appraising look. 

“ How far did you get in the old army?” Saburov asked him. 

“ Sergeant,” Konyukov said. 

“ Well, he’s a sergeant, too,” Saburov said. 

“Well, imagine that.” Konyukov muttered in duappointmcnt, 
” and I thought he was a colond.” * 

Tlie love between husband wad wife or sweetlieorts gives us 
examples par excellence of the effects of ego -involvements upon 
many psychological functions. For in addition to the value a 
husband, wife, or aweetheoi’t has as a sex object and provider, 
he has value as a person with whom one is ego-involved. This 
high degree of identification is one of the common elements of 
tlie love stories of all ages. Steinbeck expressed this identifica- 
tion in The Wayward Bua when he wrote of Alice, wife of Juan, 
the bus driver: “Alice was big in herself and everyone else was 
very little, everyone, that is, except Juan. But, then, he was an 
extension of herself” (p. 89). “Juan blotted out the universe 
to her . . and when “she talked to Juan, there wore only the 
two of them” (p. 85) .• The importance of ego-involvements in 
romantic love comes out wilh ail its color and sliading in 
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The two young lovers, seeing 
to identify themselves with each other, are yet torn by their 
conflicting identification with their warring families. 

The truly human literature of all times is I’eplete with illus- 

* K. Simonov, Da^t and NighU, Now Yorkt Simon and Schuster, 1010, p. IS. 

‘ J. Steinbeck, The Wayfmd fins. New York: Ihe VUdng Press, 1917. 



Ego-Involvements in Yarious Situations S87 

trations of ego-involved behavior. But we must tum now to 
the worlc of pay^olo^ta who have begun, especially in the 
past decade, to investigate and meaaui'e the ejects of ego-in- 
volvements in many psychological functions.® As we have seen, 
perceptual and symbolic functions of the individual are modi- 
fied by the stress of a biogenic motive (see pp. 66-75). Simi- 
loi’Iy, ego-involvemonta produce different effects. The effects of 
ego-involvementfi on perception, learning, memory, erection of 
aspiration levels, and judgment, for example, have been expeii- 
mentally demonsh’at^.’ The results of these studies may be 
tahen as showing once more the selectivity of psychological 
processes os well os the organization and functioning of motiva* 
tionol and cognitive factors in a unified way. 

The selectivity of memory as a result of ego-involvement is 
shown in a study by K. B. Clark. The procedure here waa es- 
sentially that used by Bartlett in his studies of remembei'ing. 
Boys and girls i*ead twice a paragraph concei'ning the meeting 
of a man with a dominating woman; They weie then asked to 
reproduce tlie paragraph os accurately as possible. Subsequent 
^productions were obtained at wealdy iniei'vals. Significant 
differences were found between the recall of the boys and the 
girls. The boys ” tended toward personoliaation— to identify 
themselves with the man of the situation and to moke their 
recalls in terms of the 'affective’ dynamics of the situation, 

• Ego-lDVolvementatudUuliave been accumvUUng oyer tbepBJtdecadjB; they wore 
flrit aurreyed by G. W. Allport In TIm ego is oonttimporary p^rdiology, 

1048, SO, W1-4T8. 

See, for w^ninplc, B. HorowHs and B. Horowlta, Devblopnont of aodsl, attitude 
in chlldron, 1087, 1, 801-S88: J. M. levine and G. Murphy, The learning 

and forgetting of contravoraiol material, Abn. A Boo', Poyok^,, 1048,-88, 007--517J 
T. Alpor. Tfiak-orientation ve. ego-o^lontatkm in learoing and retention, Ampr. J, 
PrpeAol.. 1040, 80, 280-048; K. B. Clo^k, Some fftotora inBueneing the remembering of 
proao loatorinl. XfoA. Papo^M 1040, ho. 289; B. W. WaUen, Ego-involvemant «a a 
determinant of aolectlvd forgetting, /. Abn. A 8oo. P9yohol„'19iii 87; 20-80:' A. L. 
Edwards, Political frames of reforence ar a factor iofluonchig recognition, J.uthni A 
goo. P 4 itf^.» 1041, 88, 84-00: V. Soclenaon, The ioOuenco of aUitudp upon the 
memboring pictorial matoriol, Anh^ Pjjw)W„ 104^ no. 288; W. Mdaelsee, Judg- 
ment and the level of aspiration, J. Oon. P^/ehtA,, 1040, 8-18: B, B. Holt, Effects of 

ee>mvolvement upon leveU otMpicatioa, pti/ohiatrtft 1048, 8, 200-817; B. Marks, 
Skin color judginenta of Negro college students, J, Abn, A Boo. Poyohol., 1040; 22, 
8-18; 6. S. Klein and N. Schoenfeld, The InBuenco of ego-involvement on confidence, 
J. Aba. A Soo. Pspeboi., 1841, 80, 240-288. This repmaentotiva list indttdea the rtudieB, 
reviewed in the following pages. 



388 An Outline, of Social Fsycliology 

particularly as related to the potential or actual damage to the 
prestige of the man.” " In another part of the study, a pai‘a- 
graph conceited with the anxieties of W.P.A.' workers was 
read and recalled by W.P.A. workers and Columbia College 
students. Whereas none of the college students tended to ” per- 
sonalize’* their reproductions, the W.P.A. workers not only 
did tend to, but a fourth of them actually reproduced the para- 
graph in the first person singular. 

Marks* study on judgments of skin color by Negro subjects 
shows how judgments in which one is highly involved may be 
distorted in terms of previously established reference scales. In 
this case, the judgments were mode in terms of a reference 
scale of skin color in which the subject tended to place himself 
near the average, independent of his actual skin color (within 
limits, of course). Thus, the skin color of a given subject woul^ 
be judged lighter by a person with dark skin than by a person 
with light slcin.^ The affective components of this scale are» of 
course, derived in part from the socially established scale in 
America wfaich places a premium on light skin. 

Although psychologists particularly interested in tire learn- 
ing process have not given much attention to the foci, ego-iii- 
volvements produce differential results in leoi’ning. In a study 
of tlie learning and retention of pro-Soviet and anti-Soviet 
material by sti'ongly pro-communist and anti-communist sub- 
jects, Levine and Murphy showed that a person’s ego-involved 
frame of reference affects both learning and retention. For ex- 
ample, the anti-communist subjects tended to learn and retain 
the anti-Soviet selection better tliah the pro-communist, sub: 
jects. The authors explain these results in terms of the harmony 
or threat of the material to the subject’s autisms.^^ Alper Sub- 
stantiated the effect of ego-involvements in learning in her 
study comparing the learning of nonsense syllables and digits 
by ego-involved and *'task-iavolved” subjects. The experiment 
was designed in such a way that 3 ”lq.ws of learning” fofmu; 
lated on the basis of classical studies were, tested. Some of the 
sxibjects were told that the experiment was really a test of intel- 

* Clark, op. oA., p. 01. > 

* Morl^ op. oU, ' 

Levine end Murphy, op. oU> 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 280 

ligence. Alper found, for example, that while the learning of 
task-involved subjects was superior to their retention, this was 
not the case for subjects who were ego-involved. In ^orti the 
study shows that ego-involveinents are factors which must be 
considered in on adequate learning theoiy.^^ 

Klein and Schoenfeld decisively showed the differential re- 
sults of the degree of involvement with the situation in their 
study of confidence ratings baaed on a group of pencil end paper 
tasks. In one situation, subjects were told the taslca were in- 
telligence tests and that the results would be sent to the per- 
sonnel bureau of the university, whereas in the other situation 
no such instructions were given. Under the *** stress’ or ’ego- 
jnvolvement’ situation,” the subjects* confidence ratings 
showed a generality lacking in the more “neutral conditions” 
where the confidence ratings in various tasks showed little re- 
lationship.^^ McGehee found differential results for hia subjects’ 
judgments. of their own future performance (erection of aspira- 
tion level) and their judgments of another person’s perform- 
ance.” , . , - ■ 

Some light is thrown on these and other studies by.C* Sbenf’s 
study of individuals’ judgments of their own performance and 
that of another person with whom they momtained a definite 
personal relationship.” Each subject participated with another 
person in a dart-throwing game, which they were told was a 
test of eye-hand coordination. Each pair of subjects in the first 
group consisted of a parent and his or her child. The pairs in 
the second greup were husband and wife. After a few practice 
trials by one member of the pair, the. second member wrote 
on estimate of the first member’s next score, keeping his 
estimate a seci’et. The subject who was throwing the d^ts then 
estimated aloud the score he expeotied to make on that trial. 
This procedure was followed for a series of 25 trials. Then the 
subjects changed places, the second member of the pair be- 
coming the thrower and estimating his own- perforihance. The ' 
identical procedure was followed with the second subject. Each . 

”'Alpor,op. oil, . i' . 

, ” Klflin and Sdioenfold,, ojh oit, 

” M^hec, ofioit. 

^ Fnqmicd at the Ewtem FsyehologtcBl Aaiociatwn mietiag, AUanUo tSty, ' 
New Jersey, April 86, 1047. ’ ■ . - , i\ ' i 



890 An Outline of Social Psychology 

subject thus made a series of £5 judgments of his own future 
performance and 35 judgments of his partner’s future peiv 
formance. 

In this situation, the subjects tended to be os ego-involved 
with their partner’s (parent, child, husband, or wife) per- 
formance AS with their own. In some cases, more ego-involve- 
ment was shown with the partner’s performance. As a result, 
the judgments of their own and the partner’s future perform- 
ance tended, on the average, to resemble each other in many 
respects, such ns accuracy, ” rigidity ” (or tendency to hold the 
level of judgments or gods constant), and the tendency toward 
shifts in judgments as pei'formonce improved or deteriorated. 
The spontaneous remarlcs and reactions of the pai'tners in this 
study substantiate the results in a orucial way. Many of the 
subjects were considerably more loquacious, t^ser, and more 
pleased with the pei'formance of their child, or parent, or mate 
than with their own. Tho records of the spontaneous i^emarks 
of the subjects during the course of tho experiment reveal this 
both when judging one’s partner’s performance and when 
judging his own. 

The subjects quite frequently gave spontaneous suggestions 
to their partners on the best t^niques of holding and throw- 
ing darts, standing, etc. There was, of course, nothing in the 
instructions conducive to such reactions. The subject who was 
throwing was often advised by his partner: ’’Don’t tighten 
up”; “TaJeeit easy”; "Get a good grip on the dart”; "You’re 
talcing it too casudly, dear”; etc. 

Every subject made encouraging remoi’ks to hb partner for 

example, mothei’ to son: “Get that yellow, S ! Get it for 

Daddy!” "Come on, honey, really do me pi’oud. You have a 
better eye than that.” Wife to husband: "I want you to moke 

80, 0! . I want to tell the children about it.” Mother to son 

when he estimated his scorn lower than his previous score: 
"Oh, no ! You’ll do more than you bid, not less.” 

All the subjects showed enthusiasm for their partner’s suc- 
cesses, in some coses more than for tlieir own. For a partner’s 
successes, there were whistles and even shouts of enthusiasm: 
"Yippee! The best yet!” "Come on, Robin Hood, do that 
again!” "You look like you’ve been on shipboard a lot. You’re 



EgO'-InTolvementa in Various Situations ^91 

goodf Mommie/* “You see, I knew my faith in you was justi- 
fied. . . . You*re going to make it again this time." 

Some subjects offered excuses for their partner's “failures.” 
For example, one husband explained that his wife hadn't been 
feeling wdl that day, but the explanation came only i^er a 
long series of low scores on her pai‘t> A mother ea^lained her 
dai^ter's low score on one trial by saying, “X think that 
dog running by the window threw you off.” Chie daughter hid 
her face in hei* hands and groaned or giggled every time her 
mother missed the target, a reaction quite Rimiliyp to her 
reactions to her own '^f^urea.” 

In some cases tliere was considei'able awai'eness of the way 
the poi'tner looked while throwing, os indicated by sucli re- 
marks as: “Isn’t she cute? Doesn’t she look cute doing this?” 
'’Mommie looks so funny throwing those! ” “I wish your father 
could see you do this.” 

Several subjects remarked spontaneously that it seemed more 
difficult to estimate for their partner than for themselves— 
A wife: “It's so much easier to estimate for myself than for 
A - - A mother writing down her estimate before her daugh- 
ter mode hers: “The funny thing is that I seem to be estimating 

just what C bids every time.” (As a matter of fact she was 

not.) A father: "It’s easier to judge myself than E His 

score seems to fluctuate moi*e tlian mine. (Looks at scorn sheet) 
Idon'tknow. He’s staying fairly constant, isn't he?" ■ 

Data concerning the nature of the relationship and the 
degree of identification, and of motivational atUchment 
between the subjects who were pailners in this experiment 
would have been interesting and would help to clarify the dif- 
ferential residts obtained from pair to pair, ' Several of the 
husband-ond-wife pairs revealed more or less typical American 
husbond-and-wife attitudes. In various degrees, the husbands 
tended to be protective of, their wives, encouraging them and 
comforting them. One husband consistently kept, his estimates 
lowoi* than his wife's score whep her score was low, raising 
them above her score only when her performance was clearly 
improving. The wives,, in various degrees, traded to maintain 
an admiring role in relation td theiir husbands’' perfdrmaiu^.. 

As revealed in the spontaneous remarks, the subjects made 



292 An Outline of Social Psychology 

judgments of both their own and their partner’s performance 
in terms of expectations and goals established through personal 
association and through the interiorization of social reference 
frames relating to the relationship (e.g.» toward one’s husband 
or child). Fmiher variation would be expected if tlie subjects 
were involved with each other in a negative way, e.g., as bitter 
personal rivals, competitors, or members of antagonistic groups. 

A word- should be said now about the psydiological signifi- 
cance of ego-involved and non-cgo-involved (or **task-in- 
volved”) situations. Task-involved situations, we should say, 
take place discretely witliout being referred to an established 
reference scale or frame, sucli as a scale of goals. Consequently, 
no special effort is called for to approximate certain levels and 
goals. On the other hand, ego-involved situations put us in 
a position relative to standard set by ourselves in the past, by 
othei's, or in relation to established scales of achievement of 
individuals or groups who are superior, inferior, or equal in our 
eyes. It is this reference to a scale, or stondoid of achievements 
witli whidi we are involved that produces results tluit differ 
in so many respects, Tliis liypothesis would seem to be sub- 
stantiated lU port by Klein and Schocnfeld’s finding of low 
intercorrelation of coiddence ratings under "neutral conditions’* 
and Holt’s finding that the setting of goals for one’s own per- 
formances "is more specific, more peripheral and responsive 
to outer envii’onmental forces” when there is little ego-involVe- 
ment in the situation.^* 

If reactions are regulated in terms of an ego-involved refer- 
ence frame or scale in which one’s self and other persons occupy 
rdative positions, it should be possible not only to produce 
such modified reactions momentarily but also, .knowing the 
frame and the relaUve positions of two persons in it, to predict 
the direction in which Uie reaction would be modified. We have 
already seen how admirably the autokinetic phenomenon lends 
itself to the study of the process of noim formation in group 
situations, and of attitude foimation (pp. 162 and 228). In 1986, 
this same stimulus situation was used to demonsUate how 
judgments may be regulated raomentoi'ily by ego-involvements 
as determined by the position of another pei'son relative to the 

u l^t, op, oii.,' p. 814. 



Ego-Involveiaents in Variowa Situations 293 

subject.^^ In this caae, the cooperating subject had prestige 
in eyes of the naive subject. The following is a verbatim 
account by the subject cooperating with the experimenter: 

Mias X and I ^Assstaot in Payd^ology» Columbia University]] were 
subjects for Dr. Sherif . 1 was well acqumnted wj[;th the experiment but 
Hiss X Imew nothing whatsoever about it. Since she was a close friend 
of mine» and I carried some prestige ^with her, Dr. Sherif suggested 
that it would be juteresting to see if we could predetermine her judg- 
ments. It was agreed beforehand that I was to give no judgments 
imtil she hod. set her own standard. After a few stimulations it was 
quite clear tliat her judgments were going to vary around five inches. 
At tlie next appropriate stimulation, I mode a judgment of twelve 
inches. Miss X’s next judgment was eight indies. I varied my judg- 
ments around twelve indies and she did the some, Then I changed my 
judgment to tliree inches, suggesting to Dr. Sherif that he hod changed 
it. She gradually came down to. my. standard, but not without some 
apparent resistance. When it was dear that she hod accepted, this new 
standard, Dr. Sherif suggested that 1 make no more judgments lest 1 
might influence hers. He then informed her on a subsequent stimuhb-. 
tion that she was underestimating the distance which the point moved, 
foimediately her judgments were mode larger, and she established a 
new atonda^. However, she was a little uneo^ with it all, and before 
the experiment hod progressed mudi farther whispered to me, “Get 
me out of hero.” ’ ' 

When we were again in my office, I told her that the point had not 
moved at all' during the experiment. She seemdl quite disturbed 
about it, and was veiy' mpeh embarrassed to know'that we had been 
deceiving her. Noting lier pertUrbaUbn, I turned the conversation to 
other matters. However, several times during our conversation she 
came bock to the subject', saying. don’t lilm that man” (ref^ing 
to Dr; Sherif) and similar indicating her displeasure ^th 

the experience. It was not until some weeks later when she was again 
in my oflice that I discoveied the full extent of her aversion. 1 askied 
her to serve os a Bubje^t for irie in An experiment and unmtdiately she 
exclaimed, *‘Not down in ihat fooiri,” pointing to Dr. Shferif’s expOT- 
mentalroom. ‘ 

In 1946, Zeaman again demonstrated tbe regulation of ego- 
involved reaction as determined by the relationship between 
the subjects. In this demonstration, two cooperating subjects 

^ M. Slierif, An axpsiimoDtal approsrii to the study of attitudes, SooUmehyi 1087, 

i,flo-oa 



394 An Outline of Social Psychology 

were use<l, one for whom the nMve subject felt a good deal of 
affection and one for whom he tended to feel ontagonism.^^ In 
Zeoman’s words: 

One male graduate student of the Anthropology Department at 
Columbia was used a« subject. He was cooperative, and intelligent, 
but entirely noXve about the experimental procedure and apparatus^ 
and about the autokinetic effect. The relationship between the ob- 
server and the two experimenters was primarily that of very close' 
friendship although after a period of sharing on apartment for one 
year, different modes of behavior had set in on tlie part of tlio subject 
with respect to the male and female experimenter. It is . . . this dif- 
ference in relationship that forms the independent variable in this 
experiment. The relationship between tlie subject and the female 
experimenter was a non-competitive, pleosantly affectional relation- 
ship. . . . Between the subject and the male experimenter, on tlie other 
hand, there e3d8ted a relationship characterized by a mutual striv- 
ing for ascendancy, aggression . . . and a consequent tendency to dep- 
recate the judgments of the other person. Over a period of many 
months, these relationships hod proved relatively invariable. 

The naXve subject drat gave his judgments individually. 
Then; 

The female eiqjeriraenter left the room under a pretext, to moke a 
quick average of the judgments in order to fix her own. Upon return* 
ing, thirty-five judgments apiece were recorded for the female experi- 
menter and subject together. The subject controlled his key (and 
hence the duration of the light) and alt^ated with the expei’imenter 
in giving first judgments. 

Following a brief rest, thirty-fi^ additional judgments were token 
for the subject in an ** alone ” situation before it was “ spontaneously ** 
decided to “ fill-out the curve ** of the male expei'imenter. In this second 
social situarion the female experimentei* manipulated tlio experi- 
menter's switch and recorded the judgments of the subject together 
with the male experimenter. During the rest, the mole experimenter 
had previously Idt the room to inspect the subject’s " olone ” judg^ 
ments. The second social situation was conducted in the same manner 
os the first, with the subject and experimenter alternating in giving 
the first judgment for each stimulus. A final “ alone ” was then 
given. 

” Mr. David Zeaman of Columbia Uotvorsity reported tho demonslrnlion for 
tUidbook. ■ ' . 



Ego-Involvementa in Various Situations 296 

[Brfote the expCTiment] The prediction had been made . , . that 
the observCT a positive and negative attitude towards the female and 
male wpenmentOT respectively would be redected in his perception of 
on wnbigQOus stimulus. Specifically it was predicted that the female 
epjemneiiter would be able to shift the subject's norm in the direction 
of her jud^ents, while the effect of the mde experimenter’s iudg- 
ments would be to shift the subject's norm in a direction away £rom 
the norm assumed by the male experimenter. 



Fio. 20. The, effects of pwitlve and negative personal involvements oa 

jurlgiceiit. ' / ' - 

The means of each IS successive judgments of distance of nutokinetio 
movement are indicated on the unbroken 'line. < The two e:q)eriineaters’ , 
"planted” judgments are shown on the broken lines. The S situations 
specified at the top of the figure. (Courtesy of D. Zeiunan.) , 

Figure 26 shows the mean of each 5 successive judgments for 
the naive subject (the solid line) and the two cooperating suh- ^ 
jects (dotted lines). Zeomw summarized the findings .as' 
follows: 



296 An Outline of Social Psychology 

The subject assumed a norm at approximately 5,0 inches in the 
first “alone” situation, and was shifted down to S.4 inches by the 
female’s judgments whidi averaged 1.0 inches. This drop is significant 
on the .01 level. A fuither decrease occurred in the next “ alone ” situ* 
ation with the subject’s norm leveling off at S.4 indies os an average 
for thirty-five judgments. 

The male experimenter then set his norm at 5.0 inches to discover 
the amount and direction of shift that would occur in the subject’d 
nonn. The amount of shift that took place was significant on the 
.05 level, witli the subject’s norm dropping to 1.57 inches, this time in 
a direction away from that assumed by the experimenter. 

Thus the predictions were borne out. ... 

Just as ego-involved reactions may be regulq>ted in terms of 
the position of another person relative to us, so may they be 
regidated in terms of the relative position of groups. Asch’s 
study reviewed briefly earlier (pp. 235-387) demonstrates tliis 
point admirably. The judgments of his subjects were modified 
in the direction of the supposed standards of a "congenial’^ 
group (reference group) even when those standaids were in 
conflict with the individual's own. On the other hand, s tnndarda 
attributed to Nazis (on antagonistic group) tended to be re- 
jected as a basis for judgment.^’ It is to this problem of jthe 
effects of groups on ego-invoIvcmentB that we now turn, 

I 

Ego-Involvornents in Group Relationships ! 

Any ego-involvement is that of the individual who manifests 
it. But the foimation of ego-attitudes and the subsequent shap- 
ing or modification of reactions by yatious sorts of ego-involve- 
ments will remain mere subjective phenomena if they oi'e not 
related to the social Situations which produce them. It became 
evident in the preceding chapter tliat the major ego-attitudes 
defining our position in relation to; others aie doi'ived frpni 
the status rankmg prescribed by social organizations (family, 
school, profession, club, etc.) and the noims and goals prevailing 
in them. Formally or informally organized groups of any kind 
are necessanly hierarchical — witli their peculiar status and 

u S. E. Asoh, Studies in the prineiplos of judgments and attitudes: II. DetermliUf 
tlon of judgments by group ood by ego itaudords, J, Boo. Ponohol,, 8P88I SitlU 104% 
18 , 488 - 405 . ! . . 



Ego-Involvementa in Various Situations 397 

prestige scales. Family, cliurch, gang, professional organisation, 
union, club, university — all have their own status and prestige 
scales. Individuals in every society are members of some group 
or groups. As wc trace the differentiation of groups from rela- 
tively simple primitive societies to highly variegated bourgeois 
societies, tbe groups that the individual belongs to increase in 
number and complexity, (Here we shall not digress to discuss 
the effects on the individual of the integration or lack of inte- 
gration [conflicts] of the groups of which he is a member.) ITie 
status and prestige standards of individual members are de- 
teimined largely by those of the groups of wliich he becomes a 
member or to which he refers himself, 

Status is a sociological denotation. Status is a standardized 
position in the group. As the anthropologist Linton states, *'In 
all societies certain things are sheeted as reference points for 
the ascription of status.** The scale of status positions is a 
stimulus for the would-be member; hence the status positions 
of a group are data of sociology. The individual learns them 
as he comes to belong psychohgicalLy and tO' participate in 
hia groups. In its main features his ego consists of a series of 
belongingnesses. Social psychologists must learn a great died 
from die social scientists about these status positions, for 
they con be studied sociologically on their , own level without 
reference to this or that inmvidual. For ^mple, the relative 
roles of father and mother, and the range and particular roles 
of kinship relations can be studied without reference to par- 
ticular individuals in those particular roles. As clearly pointed 
out by Fiaget, at first the family iS' a perceptual pattern to 
the child and a place of saUsfacdon of his needs. It- is only 
after a certain degree of ego development that he gi'asps the 
significance of reciprocal roles in the family as they are stand- 
ardized in the particuloi* social setting.. 

Therofdi'ei it becomes imp^ative for the social psydiplogist 
to leoi'H something about tlie sociology of stotu8» if he wants a 
proper perspective toward the stimulus situations'. An oht- ' 
line of social psychology is not the place to bring together the 
scattered sociological literature on status.' Consequently | We 

R. Linton, TAtf Siuis ^ An NeW York: Appleton-Cedtiiry, 

10a6,p.aiB. > o .1 ■> ,, 



398 An Outiine of Social Psychology 

shall mention in passing only a few relevant points inspired by 
Benoit-Smullyan's concise discussion of status, status types, 
and status interrelations.^ Everywhere, group organizations 
are hierarchical affaii's. These hierarchies may be based on 
diverse critem of which economic and political power are 
major. In lesser organized groups othei* criteria may determine 
status. Por example, in a sclioolroom, a hierarchy is established 
among the pupils according to the degree of success in scliool 
subjects. Status may be cloned relative position within a 
hierarchy** (p. 155). Benoii-SmuUyon says: 

By a hierarchy we mean a number of individuals ordered on an 
inferiority-auperiority scale witli respect to tlio comparative degi'ec to 
which tliey possess or embody some socially approved or generally 
desired attribute or characteristic. A hierarchol position is thus always 
a position in which one individuid is identified with others with regt^ 
to the possession or embodiment of some common chaiacteiistic, but 
differentiated from these others in the degree, or meaeure, to whicli the 
characteristic is possessed or embodied. The tlnec chief hierarcliios 
with which we will be concerned ore: tlie economic hierarchy, the 
political hierarchy, and the prestige hierarchy. Eelative position 
within these hierarchies constitutes economic status, political status, 
and prestige status respectively (pp. 161-162), 

Economic status, political status, and prestige status are the 
three primary or basic types of social status. The individual's 
position may not be on the some level in these three major 
types of status, i.e., he may be high in prestige status and not 
so high in economic status. After pointing to certain concrete 
cases of such discrepancies, Benoit'Smullyan comes, however, 
to the conclusion that "in fact, iho data suggest ihat eoonomo 
status has been Hho dominoHng el&mmt in our own [American] 
recent history . . . ” (p. 161, italics mine). "Wealtli is frequentiy 
‘converted* into power .by dirwt or indirect bribery, by pur- 
chasing posts of command or weapons of coercion, by hiring 
the services of guards or soldiei's or propagandists’*(p. 169). 

In a society dominated by private property relationships, all 
prestige sooner or later has to be regulated by economic status. 
"It is significant that the dispossessed aristocrat does not in- 

» £. Benolt-SmullyoD, QtatuB, status types and status Interrelntbns, Amer, SooUd, 
Reo., 1044 . 0 . 161 - 101 . 



Ego-Involvements in Varioua Situations 299 

definitely retain liis presti^ unless lie is sooner or later able to 
win bank his power, Similiu'iy, the nouvetmx Hc^est though 
snubbed persiatentlyi do sooner or later gain in prestige status 
providing they retain their money. We have to do here with 
one phase of an interesting social process which we may tipthp. 
‘status conversion* ** (p. 159). 

Particularly significant for the social psychologist is the 
concept of ataiua equilihralim that Smullyan introduces. He 
charactCTizes jthe concept as follows: “As a result of status 
conversion processes which ai‘e normally at work in every 
Coapitnlist] society, there eidsts a real tendenqy for the dif- 
ferent types of status to reach a common level, i.e„ for a 
r^n’a position in the economic hierarchy to mati hia posi- 
tion in the political hierarchy and for the latter to accord 
with his position in the hierarchy of prestige, etc.** (p. 180). 

The concept of aiainii equUihrastion is particulacly useful for 
the social psycliologiat, for in actual life the status equilibration 
process brings together' strange companions (c.g., professor, 
businessman, and politician). Let us illustrate the point &om a 
plausible cose of a professor and a businessman; this could 
happen in any distinguished university town having a. “good” 
address. A coi’tain professor has prestige because of his uni- 
versity position, but, not having broken down in himself the 
hiei’oi'cby of economic values of his setting, he gets ideas from 
his businessmen neighbors, who live with ihe luxurious stand- 
ards of rich country squires. One neighbor is a multimillionajli'e. 
He wants prestige commensurate with his wealth, but has not 
attained this level of prestige os yet. People know him chiefly 
through the advertisements of his products. The result is that 
the two men “team up “ in order that each may attain the lev^ 
of economic or prestige status that he wants. Of course the jpro^ 
feasor in question represents the type who k^s intact in him- 
self the contradictory hierarchy of values o£ his setting, in spite 
of his polysyllabic uttmances to the contrary in print, ^e 
illustration may be extended to cover the politician-scholar^ . 
businessman tnuiavirate. 

Wo ore deliberately excludmg concrete; studies dealing with 
socio-economic status and the ego-involvements determined 
by them, restricting oui'selves here to simpler and less cq3^ 



800 An Outline of Social Psychology 

quential data to formulate the principle. Before we proceed 
with such data, a few words giving the implications of tlieiore* 
going discussion for the problem of ego-involvements are in 
oi*der. The sociological concept, statuSt denotes a relative posi- 
tion in a hierarchy (scale) of positions. The status of an indi- 
vidual is tlie position he holds in tlie hierarchy of his group; 
whatever it may be. In oi'der to have a relative position in the 
group, of course, he has first to relate himself, or belong, to it. 
Belongingness in a group produces in him the expeiicnce of the 
hieroi’chy or scale of the group. Once a member, his status 
Aspirations and standards of attainment are detennined accord- 
ingly. Tliese status aspirations and standards are revealed 
psychobgioaUy through his ego-attitudes and ego-involvementsi 

The conclusion indicated in the foregoing discussion is sub-« 
stontiated in its major featui*e8 by a number of studies made 
during the last decade.*^ W© shali here summoi'ize briefly a few 
representative ones. 

In Hyman*a study of the psydiology of status, already cited, 
we find an experimental demonstration of the fact that the 
Standards people set for themselves are determined by the 
standards of tie group or groups to which they relate them- 
selves (their refei'ence groups). Hyman first conducted intensive 
interviews to discover the individual’s dimensions Of Btatus» his 

See. for ^mplc, D. W. Chapman and Volkmann. "A socia) clotpnnlimDt 
tlu level of aipiration, J. Ahn. <6 Sao, Payohol., 18S0, 8>i, 9SS-0S8} H. II. Audorann and 
H. F. Bnmlt, A stddy of motivation involving BoIl-atinoiinced'gDRls of HfUi grade 
obitdren and the concept of level of aeplratloit. 800 . 1D3D, 10, SOO-SSis 

E. R. Hilgardi E. M. Sait, and 6, A. Magorot, Level of aspiration m aifected by, rela- 
tive standing in an experimental social group, J. Etptr, Ptyohfd,, 1910, 87, 411-491} 
&. Gould and 11. B. Lewis, An experimental ihvostigatlon’ of changes in the meaning 
of level of aspiration, J. Exptr. Peye/ioi., 1940, 87, 188-486; F. S. Sears, I,ovcla of 
aspiration in academically successful and unsuccessful school children, J, Afrp. A 8oe. 
PsgoAof., 1040, 85, 4 O 8 HI 8 O: A. Macintosh, Differential effect of tlie status of tlie 
competing group upon the levels of aspiration, Amer. J. PsyeAef., 1048, 05, 540-554; 
F* W. Ij^in and M. 0. Mentcer, Effect of differences in instruction and motivaUon 
upon measures of level of aspiration, Amer, J. Pajfehol,, 1048, 65, 400-400; ,11. H, 
Hyman, The psychology of status, Anh, Psysfof., 1048, no. 800; H. B. Lowis, Aii 
experhfiental study ^ the role of the ego In worki I. The i^e of the e^o iii'cooperativo 
work, /. Expw. PsyoAoi., 1944, 84, 119-180; H. B. Lewis and M. FraiikIln, An experi- 
mental study of the role of the ego in wot^c; XL Tho ^uiOcancp of , task-orientation In 
frork, J. Exfar, Pagohol,, 1044, 84, 106-816; H. T. Hiromelweit, A comparative study 
of the leVd 6f ospimUon of nortnal and of neurotic persons, Brit, J, PsyoAof.,’l647, 
87,8-50. ’ 1 



Bgo-Involvemeats in Vai-ioua Situations 301 

reference groups and individuals, the genesis, criteria, and 
values of status and his satisfaction with his status. Among the 
interesting findings here was the "rare occun-ence of the total 
population as a refei'ence gi'oup and the great frequency of more 
intimate reference groups. . , . Individuals operate for the most 
part in small groups within the total society* and the total 
population may have little relevance for t-heTn . jpaj more im- 
portant ard their friends, people they work with. Consequently) 
obj^tive measures of status will very likely differ from sub- 
jective measures if total population is the basis for the deter- 
mination of objective status’* (p. 

Hyman then went on. to. construct scales to measure “sub- 
jective status’' in several respects, e.g., economic, intellectual, 
cultural, social, etc. He showed how judgments of an individual’s 
own status in these respects shift when i*elated to different 
i-eference groups. He. also found that: “striving for status is 
generally directed in the channd of the most valued status,” i.e,, 
towai'd the highest in the hierarchy of statuses. Dissatisfaction 
with, status was found to,, vary "inversely with the level- of 
status,” showing-how one’s position on the scale may influence 
one’s aspirations and strivingsi The ^dings cbncerning “lack 
of concern with status”, are revealing. Lack of concern' was evi- 
dent among those individuals r(l) whosb status was similar to 
the status of their refercuce group, (2) who maintained a status 
liigh in the hierarchy and took their position for granted; and. 
(3) who I'ejccted' the. scale of status, established in. tlie social 
order arouud them iti judging theii* own status. Tinally, “the 
values of on Individual are. set into operation by cei'tain. referr 
ence groups, in which case specific statuses contribute t6 general 
status in accordance with their value” (p. 01). 

The most clcar-cut formulation of the problem of the ers^ction 
of goals of achievement in a task, as regulated by groups whose 
achievement in our eyes ore consistently established assuperior, 
inferior, or on tlie same lev^ with ours, was advanced, in 1099, 
by Chapman and Volkniann.” They stai't by calling attention 

^ Hiui shows that such tortus as ^*cuUui«" and **shhoiiltur^’ hte loose terras to 
lisa in necouiiUtig for the social Influences on tbe. individiiali as we indicated earliw 
(pp> On the other .hapd, tho concepts pt numbarsblp, and reference 

put the Indlvlduid in a concrete social situ&tlra ini terins of the range his receptivi;^* 

^ Chapman and VolkmauDi op. oii. 



SOS An Outline of Social Psychology 

to the principle that **the conditions which govern the setting 
of a level of aspiration {An9pruch8nheau)t in the sense of an 
estimate of one’s future performance in a given task, may be 
legarded os a special cose of the effect upon a judgment of the 
frame of reference within which it is executed” (p. ^^5). Por, as 
we have pointed out, all judgmental activities tend to “take 
place within such referential frameworks,” whether they are 
ego-involved or not. In cases in which ego-involvement of some 
sort enters os a factor, the major anchoring points are deter- 
mined by that factor. Chapman and Volkmonn asked their 
subjects to predict their future performance on a literary test. 
The subjects (college students) had no objective criteria in re- 
lation to which they could make such an appraisal. The 
experimenters, howevei*, furnished the subjects with such 
anchorings by giving them the alleged performances of groups 
who stood in different positions relative to tlie subjects, such as 
literary critics (highei*) and W.P.A. workers (lower). The group 
of subjects who compaied themselves to the “superior” stand- 
ard lowered theh goals. On the other hand, the "inferior” 
standard (W.P.A. workers) introduced for the other group hod 
the effect of raiding the goals of that group. 

But when the subjects’ own standards in a task (a test) were 
previously established, the introduction of various group 
standards produced practically no shifts based on these group 
standards. These' findings were later substantiated with differ- 
ent stimulus material and different reference groups. 

Another comprehensive formulation of the principle is that 
offered by P. Sears in her work on the level of aspiration of 
academically successful and unsuccessful school children.^ 
Sears’ experimental verification Is especially significant in that 
she utilized a hierarchy of success and failure already estab- 
lished in a school situation. She conclusively showed how rela- 
tive standing established in a success-failure hierarchy in the 
school group influences the standard of performance on a sub- 
sequent occasion. Sears then went on to create experimental 
“success" and “failure” for the children’s performances, 
found that even in such experimentally created situations, the 
children set their goals in accordance with what they believed 

^ Sears, op, oU, 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situiitiona 303 

to be their position relative to the social norms of performance 
they had accepted. In c^laining the findings of different char- 
acteristics of the aspiration level for successful and unsuccessful 
children, Sears concludes: *'The cultural pressure to excel and 
to keep tlie performance improving, plus the cognizance of the 
position of the self relative to social norms, seems to account 
for most of the results obtained in the present investigation” 
(p. 588). ^ 

Becently, Lewin, Denibo, Pestinger, and Sears gave a con- 
cise statement of the principle that appears in all these and 
similar studies, when they stated, in line with the previous for- 
mulations, that such influences as temporary situational factors 
and standards of one’s own and other groups governing setting 
a level of aspiration “may be conceived of as frames, involving 
a scale of values, within which the individual his de- 

cision as to a goal.”" 

More recently, Himmelweit, taking his lead explicitly from 
the work of Sears, demonstrated how the individuals in a group 
set apai't, who see themselves fn a definitely inferior position in 
relation to “normal” people, regulate their goals as prescribed 
by the established standing of their group. Himmelweit studied 
the judgments made by hospitalized neurotic patients of thear 
own post and future performances on a simple motor task. He 
found that the judgments were affected by the degree of ego> 
involvement of the subjects in their performance. V^ile recog- 
nizing tlie particulai' infiuence of individual differences of neu- 
rotic i)atients, Himmelweit assigned to first place in factors 
explicitly determining tlie degree of ego-involvement “the en- 
vironmental factor or reference scales against which the indi- 
vidual evaluates his performance” (p. 43). He concludes: “In 
tlie cose of tlie anxious and depressed patient, no outside group 
norm is imposed— it is rather an interiorized one, based upon 
the conception the patient has of his ability in relation'to tho^e 
of the group. Since he considers himself infei'ior, i.e., below the 
standard of the group, he behaves as if his pevforniaiiee had 
been compared with that of a superior group.”" 

» K. Lowin, T. Dombo,L. Ftetinger, P. Soari, "I«vaIof Aaplnition,'' m J. lifeV. 
Hunt (ed.), P«r«onag(s and tk« Bfkavior Ditordtrii N6w York: Ronald R«ii, 1014, 
vol. 1, P.8S7. 

** Hlmmelwoik, op. tfd., p. S7. ' 



804 An Outline of Social Psychology 

A telling substantiation of the effects of the reference scale 
of the group to which an individual belongs psychologically 
upon his aspirations and actual perfoimance is a study by 
M. Dalton of production in on industi'ial department.*^ In 
this department} 100 men worked under a piece-rate system in 
which they received a bonus for production ovei* 60%. How- 
evei% through the interactions of ^e group a "well recognized 
rule’’ had been established that no worker must produce over 
160% on any job. The strikii^ finding was that a majority of 
the men consistently made a bonuS} but w&ve careful not to ex- 
ceed 160%. Ten men disregarded the rule and averaged between 
160% and 200%i whereas 18 men averaged below 100%. After 
finding that shiU alone did not account for this range of per- 
formance} Dalton demonstrated that it could be fully accounted 
for in terms of (1) the social backgrounds and (2) present social 
activities of tlie individual members of the group. The findings 
ore summarized by Wliyte: 

(1) "Most of the bottom production group grew up in large 
cities where for years they had been active in boys* gangs. 8ui 
activity tends to build loyalty to one’s own group and opposi- 
tion to authority^whether from parents or management, The 
rate busteirs all grew up on farms or in small towns where they 
lived under the close supervision of parental authority and hod 
little time or opportunity to develop gong activities and the 
accompanying loyalty to the gang. 

(S) "In terms of present social pai'ticipation, the restricters 
[who averaged below 100 per cent] m’e the men who lead an 
active social life in tlw shop. Furthermore} they lead a highly 
active group life outside of work." (Italics mine.) In other words, 
these are the men who are good members of the group. On the 
othei* hand, "these findings suggest tliat he [whose average is 
over 160%] is either a lone wolf in factory and community or 
else on individual with a strong drive towai^d social mobility, 
who thus cuts himself off from othei's on the same level and 
seeks association with those of superior status." This conclusion 
was further substantiated by other behavioral indexes. For ex- 
ample, the "restricters" were the most generous in giving to 
the group charities and the "rate busters” the most stingy. 

V This study is summarised by W. 7. Whyte in an unpublished study "Economies 
and Humnn Bolatbns in Industry/’ which was kindly made available by Dr. Whyte. 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 805 

These findings recall the Bennington study (pp. 189-166) in 
which conformity or non-conformity to the liberal Bennington 
values was wholly intelligible in terms of the degree of absorp- 
tion in the college group and the relative attachment to outside 
groups whose values conflicted with those of Bennington. 

With these considerations in mind, we will clarify otir present 
problem by returning briefly to the implications of group 
psychology outlined in earlier chapters. 

Ego-Involvoments and Groui» 

'An over'accumulating bulk of evidence indicates that one’s 
reference groups are major factors in determining one’s per- 
sonal goals. In OUT discussion of the results of group interactimi 
in Chapters 6, 0, and 7, this fact was implicit all the w^ 
through. In those chapters we saw that a more or less w^- 
defined structure is formed as a consequence of gi'oup- inter- 
action, even if such a atructure is wanting initially. Formation 
of a group struetm^e necessarily implies membership on the 
part of the individual. Membership implies ideni^jvxtiMni with 
the group, and this subsequently reveals itself in ego-involved 
reactions when the group identification is sltuationolly tapped 
in various i*elationships. When our gi-oup is insulted, for ex- 
ample, wo feel personally insulted. We saw that relative posi- 
tions emerge in group interactions, if they were lacking initially, 
and that we experience our positions in relation to such an 
established hieroi'chical scale. Our standoi'ds of achievement, 
our goals of attainment are determined accordingly. If the 
reader interested in ego-involvements glances through tlie group 
chapters with the main points of our account of ego-involve- 
ments in mind, he cannot help, finding tliat group membership 
and relative position in the group are ego-involving situations. 

In these findings — the formation of group structures, the 
emergence of relative roles for the members, and the rise of 
norms peculiar to the group — ^the work of sociologists and 
psychologists has been progressively conver^g. We utilized 
j-esults of both psychologists and sociologists in our discussion 
of groups. 

Biformally organized groups are. particularly .adapted for, 
singling out tliese facts, because we are able to trace- the bock- 



306 An Outline of Social Psydiology 

ground of the individual members, the motives that bring them 
together, the progressive course of interaction, the formation of 
the group (clique, gang), and the rise of social noims (codes) 
whidi, in turn, come to determine and regulate tlie goals and 
behavior of the individual members, In the work of Thrasher 
and of Whyte we find some fine examples of sudi informal 
group formations.*® The picture, roughly, is this (of course we 
have telescoped the peculiar imlividual features of pai'ticulor 
groups) : A group of boys lacking stable*^ andioragea in society 
at large (which itself laclca integration in its organization) and 
in many cases suffering deprivations of their basic needs, 
gravitate towai*d each other to interact in informal situations 
on the street. As a consequence of group interaction (in ploy, 
in common enterprises, in conflict with other groups), a some* 
what welUdefined group formation emerges, with d^nite but by 
no means static roles, with a set of norms peculiar to the group 
that prescribes the beliavior of the individual members in 
relation to each other and to outsiders. 

In the impressive series of case studies by Clifford Shaw, we 
find the effects of group membership and group noi*ms presented 
in teiius of the experience and beliavior of single individuals 
longitudinally and intensively traced.*" Once a mernbei', the 
identification, loyalty, and responsibility Hiai really oount for 
the individuid ai’e with tlie group. His knowledge that he is a 
member of a certain family, tiiat he is a pupil in a scliool and 
a member of a church, and the exliortations all of them, do 
not really matter to him, unless he is ego-involved with them, 
The mere knowledge of prescriptions of groups in which we ore 
not psycliologicolly involved simply does not move us. Our 
ego-attitudes, and hence our conceim over status and goals to 
be attained, are derived from the gi'oup to which we relate our- 
selves (our reference group). Any changes of attitude that really 
affect our experience and behavior can be brought about ef- 
fectively only if we "settle down” and join otlier groups — a 
transformation which punishments end jail sentences, not to 

* F. M. Thrulior, Th Gang, Cliinigo: Unlveraity of Clilcogo FreM, 10S7i W. F. 
Whyte, Strsd Corner Soaiety, Chiengo! Unlverfity of Chicago Press, 1019. 

** C. R. Shaw, The Jaeh-MlWy Chicago! University of Chicago Press, 1090; G. R. 
Shav, The Natural Rieiory qf a Delitigueni Career, Chicago: University of Chicago 
Preu, 1081; C. E, SUaTV (od.). BrdheN in Crime, Clucago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1099. 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 307 

mention exhortations> fails to produce. In the detailed 
histories of Stanley and the Martin brothers, we have brilliant 
illustTationa of the point. So, too, adolescents may pay not a bit 
of attention to the opinions and pleadings of their parents, but 
may follow with precision the di^ums of their clique. This and 
other aspects of adolescence will be our concern in the following 
chapter. 

Mass Media of Communication and Ego-lnvolveanents 

Hass media of communication have become such an im- 
portant means of social stimulation, r^lacing to a gi^eat extent 
face-to-fooe relations and pi’oducing consequent participation 
of various sorts on the part of individuals, that a section on the 
topic is in order.^^ 

The mass media (radio, movies, newspapers, magosines, and 
books) are products of the revolutionary technological develop- 
ments of modern times. The for-reaching effects of mass media 
on human relationships cannot be understood apart from 
tlie other products of technology, viz., the means of production 
and ti'ansportation (see Chapter 15). The some te^nological 
products (i.e., means of production, transportation, and com- 
munication) that brought about the concentration of wealth, 
the rise of great cities like New York and Chicago, also brought 
about the staggering proportions that mass media have ac- 
quired today, ^eat newspapers with a circulation of about 
a million copies a day are published in the big cities. Perhaps it 
is not too fantastic to say &at the great newspaper's are replicas 
in miniature of the highly differentiated lives of the great cities 
with all their integrating and conflicting values, loyalties, and 
affiliations. 

It is not a mere coincidence that the owners of the moss media 
ore usually, at the same time, owners of the big business ent^ 
prises which have direct or indirect control over production 
processes. William Allen White, in the report of the Commission 
on Freedom of the Pi'ess, says: ‘^Tbo often the publisher of an 
American newspaper has made his money in some other calling 
than journalism. He is a rich man seeking power and prestige. 

*** Tho material presented In this swtion U taken, vith some modifications, fnW 
M. Shcrif and S. 8. Borgent, Ego-Invol'vemoQt and tte mess media. J.'Soe."IlmiN. 
1047, a. 8>10. 



808 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


He has the country club complex. The business manager of this 
absentee owner quickly is afflicted with the country club point 
of view.““ We ai'e including these sociological generalizations 
to emphasize tlie fact that the “analysis of content*’ on a psy- 
chological level is mere diaci'ete abstraction unless these causal 
factors ore first brought into the picture. The content of radio 
broadcasts or newspaper columns is not chosen (out of the 
welter of countless other possible items) solely on the basis of 
its news value or its intrinsic significance. It is chosen aeleo^ml^ 
os determined by the personal involvements of publishers and 
editors and their friends. Therefore^ an adequate psycliology 
of mass media should start first with the personal involvements 
of the publishers themselves. Only on that basis do the direction 
and content of moss media, and their effects on people who are 
exposed to them become really intelligible. Recently Meiton, 
among others, called attention to tlie necessity of this procedure 
(of toidug the context into account) in his social psychology of 
mass persuasion. Until recently, only the selectivity of the 
readers or listeners (their prejudices, attitudes, ego-involve- 
ments) were emphosized in the studies dealing with the effects 
of mass media. An adequate social psychology should relate 
functionally the selectivity of the reader wiili the selectivity of 
the initiator of the stimuli pouring .out of the mass media in 
increasing volume. The two act and react on each other. Unless 
the one-sided emphasis on the reader or listener is balanced by 


similar emphasis on the initiator of the stimuli, the social psy- 
chology of mass media is doomed to remain on a purely “oca- 
demic“ level. 


The reach of the modem media of communication is so brood, 


especially since the advent of the movies, radio, and television, 
that hardly any comer of the world is free of them. However, 
we cannot here give on account of the staggering proportions 
that the moss media have reached in recent times.^^ 


The two features of the modern mass media of communica- 
tion that are of particular significance for social psychology are: 
(1) They have replaced to a considerable extent jfac 0 -fo-/acs con- 


Commusion on Froodom of bho Ptcsb. A Freo and RotfonaMa Preu, Chicagoi 
Univeraity of Chicago Pross. 1047, pp. fiO-00. 

A bonebo aummory ia given in tlic report of the Commisaion on Preodom of the 
Proas, op, oU.i chap. 8, pp. 80-01. 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 809 

tacts in shaping attitudes, identifications (ego-involvements), 
and the subsequent “public opinion.” Only a small fraction of 
the people exposed to the mass media ever come into face-to- 
face contact with their originators. (8) They reach millions of 
people^ at times simultaneously. 

These two featiues ore already forcing us to revise our pro- 
vincial views of social psychology based on social stimulation 
mediated solely thvoxigli the actual presence of other individuala. 
To be sure, the presentations of the mass media ore prepared by 
other individuals. Yet the radio, the movie, the newspaper, the 
book arc or become institutions and have particular prestige 
halos as such. The printed word, tlie broadcast mmouncement, 
the image on the sci*een, appearing with the stamp of these crys- 
tallized institutions of prestige, have different effects than when 
tliey ore transmitted in personal contact. Many a man must 
have discovered new qualities in the neighborhood girl when he 
saw her on the screen. A pronouncement of the propagandist 
acquires new proportions when it is disseminated through a 
high-powered medium of paass communication. 

It xs certainly true that the richness of the nuances of face-to- 
face contacts is lost in various degrees in p;^sentations through 
the mass media of communication. On. the other hand, a com- 
pellingness, a halo IB usually bestowed iu thp impersonal presen- 
tation of radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. Many an aufiior, 
movie star, or broadcaster has lost his magic grip when he 
mingled — ^with the same • charms, the same wisdom — among 
his admirers. 

The ability to reach millions of people through the mass 
media (especially through the radio and movies) is producing 
pi*ofound effects of not only national but also international 
proportions. This, together with the effects of other products 
of te<inology, is breaking down long-established patterns of 
culture. For example, millions of adolescents all over the world 
are coming into conflict with their own enyiconmentB becoAise 
of the dream world and the identifications engendered by the 
films (mostly of the, Hollywood lype). 

The I'odio made it almost impossible during World Ww H 
for a nation to keep secret the M or capture of a pjace for.ajiy 
considerable leng^ of time. This certainly had a great.effect on 



810 An Outline of Social Psychology 


the propaganda tactics of diffeient nations. The radio knows no 
boundaries. It is reported Uiat their radio sets became symbols 
of freedom to many Frenchmen during the Fascist occupation. 
The radio set became a focal point, a preciously guarded per- 
sonal friend, in the depressing atmosphere of oppression and 
confusion. And those who ore concerned over the loss of indi- 
vidual nuances in mass media will do well to remember that 
the Gestapo in Hitler Germany threatened death to those who 
listened to foreign stations. 

Now we come to one feature of ego psychology which is most 
relevant to the effects of mass media. Once the ego is formed, 
there is a tendency not to feel *‘left out** os a person from any 
situation of whicli we ai*c a part. Let us start with the simplest 
illustration. In a group situation consisting of friends, we tend 
invariably to make a point of showing that we tmdei'stood the 
joke, that we caught the drift of the subtle conversation 
(especially if there are persona present whose opinion is im- 
portant to ua). We laugh or smile with other people whether we 
understood the joke or followed the drift of the conversation or 
not. It M afrustradng esype/mn^e to feel **kft out** in a situation 
in whiofi toe are partioipating or a situation in which we are led to 
partioipate psgdiologiaally. For a group of movie fans, it is al- 
ihost a perso^ disgrace not to be able to participate in a dis- 
cussion of the latest movie and to advance remaiks **of our 
own” about it. The lady in Middletown tries to keep up with 
the latest book recommended by a book club; she feels that she 
must be able to remark on the fine points of, say. The Egg and I 
at the next meeting of her dub. Likewise, certain people feel 
that they are back numbers if they are not au oourant with the 
latest Paris fashions. 


With their staggering power of I'cacliing millions of people at 
the same time or within a short period of time, the modern mass 
media are creating “atmospheres** into which the people 
who are constantly exposed to them are almost compelled to 
"fit.” This "fitting in” is, psydiologically speaking, becoming 
ego-involved. A "band wagon” effect is ci'eated which tends 
to attract people in ever-increasing numbers. Once ego-involved 
in the "atmosphere,** or "on the band wagon,** effective atti- 
tudes are molded or old attitudes played upon to lead people 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 311 

to act (e.g„ vote, make a contribution) in the desired direction. 
Once enmeshed in the psychological situation created by mass 
media presentations (or by face-to-face Telationships), people 
are bound to become personally involved in actual or announced 
situations of danger, crisia, action, and the like. “ Get your copy 
and become one of the great company of readers to- 
day,” “A car in every garage” ore examples of lie 

point. 

Recently Merton, made a detailed analysis of striking cases of 
ego-involvement (identification) and subsequent action brought 
about through the medium of radio.^ Many people remem- 
ber the Kate Smith. ^^Marathon” bond drives over the radio. 
“September 31, 1943, was War Bond Day for the Columbia 
Broadcasting System. During the span of eighteen hours — ^from 
eight o'clock that morning until two the next morning — a radio 
star named Kate Smith spoke lor a minute or two at repeated 
intervals. Staidom implies a mammoth audience: it was esti- 
mated that in 1943 some 33,000,000 Americans listened to 
Smith’s daytimo programs in a week and some 31,000,000 to 
her weekly evening program ** (p. 3) . The result was that she got 
“ million dollars of bond pledges in the course of one 

day ” (p. 8) . Among the appeals she used throughout the Mara- 
thon drive, those that got her listeners personally involved were 
(it is safe to soy) the most effective. The cont^i analysis pre- 
sented by Merton shows that “sacrifice themes” (arousing 
people to do their share) RiLd“participationtlieme8”(appealing 
for direct personal invalvement) constituted about 70% of 
the appeals presented. A concrete illustration of the “sacrifice 
theme” demanding direct personal involvement and action is 
os follows : “ Could you say to Mrs, Viola Buckley — Mrs. Viola 
Buekley whose son Donald woa killed in aotiion> — that you are 
doing everything you can to shorten the wai* . . » that you are 
backing up her son to tlie limit of your abilities?” 

Sucli group atmosphere-creating appeals, of course againsi 
the sHffing haekground qf Hie wa/r situation, produced effective 
ego-involvement and action on the pai’t of a great mafflr people, 
os the huge sum pledged that day indicates. These egO-involve- 

•• R. K. Merton, Ma»$ Perauation, The StfoW Payokolosy ^ a Wm Bond l)r^ 
New Y<»k: Harper, 1810. 



313 An Outline of Social Psychology 

meats on the part of the listeners are typified by tlxe following 
reactions of two contributors: 

‘*Well» Dad, we dU something. I was part of the show*’ 
(p. 56). 

** We felt that others had been impressed and bought a bond. 
And tlie fact tliat so many people felt the same way mode me 
feel right—that I was in lie ri^t diannel “ (p. 60) . 

We cannot talce space here to give examples of such ego- 
involving effects, of eacli of the moss media. But we will note 
one, attempt at a-eating a “bimd wagon" effect tlirough the 
press. This pai'licular illustration is of special interest because it 
was presented as one of the regular research reports of a “ public 
opinion poll" — ^whicli itself is an institution wlUi considerable 
prestige for a good many Americans, including some psycliolo- 
gists. The report is chosen at random from the recent publica- 
tions in the daily papers. The title of the feature, " WhatPeople 
Are Thinking,** is followed by the name of on established poll- 
taker. Under this compelling heading we find the following 
headline: "Public Support for Marshall Plan Seen.** ” Perhaps 
tills is os far os a good many readers got. But it is wortli our 
time to see what the investigator of *' public opinion ’* considers 
sufficient evidence for this sweeping and compelling statement. 
We find, first of all, that the most recent concrete data pre- 
sented were collected in " 1946, just after V-E day.** The Mar- 
shall Plan was, of course, promulgated in tlie middle of 1947. 
A naiion-wido survey of this sort should not require much more 
than a couple of weeks; but apjmrcntly on up-to-date survey 
on this subject did not seem important, even tliough it does 
occupy a good deal of space in this ** research ** report. 

Let us look tlien at the somewhat dated I’esults which are 
presented among the speculations of the investigator, In 1043, 
the poll found tliat 72.8 per cent of the " public " thought " we 
shodd plan to help otlier nations on tlieir feet by sending tliem 
money and materials." In 1046, just aftei- V-E Day, the follow- 
ing question was asked: "Would you want your Congressman 
to vote for or against continuing the present rate of tt^xes after 
the war for the purpose of helping countries that have been 

•• Elmo Bopw. "What People Axe Thinking,” Nea York lUrald Tribune, July 17, 
1017, p. 17. 



Ego-Involvements in Various Situations 313 

freed from Germany get baek on their feet?*' The result was 
that 43.3 per cent of the ci-oas section answered "yes,” and 
41.7 per cent answered "no,** In view of the known errors in- 
herent in cross-sectional surveys, a difference of 1.6 per cent 
would not seem to woirant the conclusion made. 

This is all of the concrete evidence presented to show "Public 
Support for Marshall Plan,** except a reference to “ a survey 
made lost March.*’ The survey referred to was discussed in 
either of two earlier columns on the subject. One, headed "Sur- 
vey Einds Public Backs Mid-East Policy,” was based on results 
obtained by Gallup's American Institute of Public Opinion. 
The results liei'e showed 56 per cent favoring the bill asking aid 
for Greece and 49 per cent favoring aid to Turkey. One response 
was clearly contrary to the "Mid-East Policy”; Pifty-six per 
cent of the "public” thought the problem "should have been 
turned over to the United Nations.**” A few weeks later, 
Hoper headed his column "Truman Doctrine Stirs Doubts.” 
Although no cona'ete over-all figures are given in this colunm, 
it does indicate that a majority of Americans are finding some- 
thing about Truman's piopoams that they dp not. like.” 

Tnei'e have been those who have argued long and loudly that 
the "band wagon** effect in the cose of "pubUc opinion” polls 
is non-existent. Peihaps this is why they are not somewhat 
more cautions in summing up theii statistical results, or p»- 
haps they may have other motives. Judging from the evidence, 
experimental and othciwiso, a good many social scientists could 
demonstrate the "band wagon” effect by utilizing the cross- 
sectional survey technique. 

ISlmolloper, '’WlmtFepploAraThinkiog/'iVnp'KbribffMvU April 04, 

1047, p.es. ' ' 

^ klmo llopcr, *'Wbat People Are Tli inking ” iVew York HmM Tribtath April 94, 
10*7, p.««. 



13 . 

Adolescent Attitudes and Identijications 


A GONSlDOnATION OF ADOUilBOmNT ATXITUOBS AND IDQNTIFICA 
lions will help pull together certain concepts stressed through- 
out this work. Particularly in the highly differentiated bourgeois 
societies of our timeS) with their rapid tempo of transition and 
contradictory (not infrequently conflicting) values and treat- 
ment from grownups, the youngster faces special problems 
during the Important phase in his ])hy8iological maturation 
when he is on his way to the status of full-fledged man or 
woman. These problems usually induce in him various degrees 
of conflict with adults, includu^ his own parents. 

Conflicts with adults necessai'ily lead toward successful or 
unsuccessful moves for emancipation from grown-up authority 
and the world of unintegrated grown-up values to which the 
adolescent is exposed. Of course, the degree of such sti'ivings 
is subject to individual variations because of (1) the ado- 
lescent’s particular social cireumstonces and (2) liis own indi- 
vidual choi'acteristica. 

As emphasized in the preceding chapters, once the ego 
is formed with some degree of stability, the tendency is to keep 
it anchored with stable links. But the adolescent, caught be- 
tween his newly rising sex desires and his strivings to become a 
fullfledged adult on the one hand, and the restrictive and 
frequently conti'adictory grown-up values and treatment on 
the other, flnds many of his childhood attitudes burdens to be 
tiirown oveihoard. His ego-attitudes and, in fact, liis very 
identity become shaky, This situation is responsible in a major 
way for adolescent ci'ises in various degrees — ^feeliuga of facing 
on adverse world, feelings of aloneness, the rise of doubts con- 
cerning the worth of things and, in extreme cases, of life itself, 

814 




Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 815 

etc. This instability or breakdown of established anchorings 
in the world around us is painful, at times unbearable. 

In his efforts to re-establish himself now as a person in his 
own right, the adolescent resorts to various device. These de- 
vices may be manifested in individual or group fantasies, in the 
tendency to withdraw into himself or to indige in heightened 
social and other activities, in the appearance of socially ap- 
proved or nob-approved attitudes and interests, in intensi- 
fied efforts of various sorts to prove htmaelf to a world which may 
be adverse in his eyes, etc. 

Among the adolescent's efforts toward establishing himself 
as a full-fiedged man (or woman) in his own right, crushes, 
identification with some person or group with real or fancied 
achievement and prestige, and, especially, membership in more 
or less closed clique formations (with their own norms, loyalties, 
etc.) are of particular interest to the social psychologist, For 
they show dramatically that when the fairly welhestabliahed 
ego-attitudes are rendered unstable or criticieQ because of moti- 
vational stresses — ^primarily sex in this case — and external (so- 
cial) circumstances, especially at the hei^t of organic maiura- 
tion, intense efforts are made to re-establish one's self anew. 
These efforts may imply a chrnige in certain established atti- 
tudes, now considered "childish" and hence to be left behind; 
they may imply adoption of new attitudes and identifications. 
Whether or not these attitude and identifications last into 
adulthood depends upon the social and individual circumstances 
of the adolescent. 

Adolescent Problems and the Social Setting 

By the time the boy or girl approaches puberty, the major 
delineation of his identity is usually established with some de- 
gree of stability. He has reached the level at which he has 
learned the typical attitudes of his family, his social dasa, his 
school, etc. However, he has usually not yet achieved the status 
of a fuH-fledged man gr woman oil the expectations, prac- 
tices, rights, and responsibilitita of the adult member of the. 
group in question, The Oicliieveineat of adult status, conies 
ordinarily after the advent of puberty, winch completes in a 



316 


An Outline of Social Fsycliology 

major way the process of bodily maturation. This spectacular 
phase of maturation, the ^'adolescent spurt/’ with its primary 
and secondary changes, has remarkable reverberations on the 
psychology of the youngster. We shall briefly present some 
psychological consequences of this bodily cliangc a little later 
in this chapter. 

The psychological effects of attaining adolescence were so 
dramatic in the culture studied by 6. Stanley Hall, who at the 
turn of the centuiy set tlie style of adolescent studies, that 
adolescence almost came to be known os a universal period of 
"storm and sti*ess/’ mai'ked with rather prolonged crises, re- 
ligious conversions, etc/ 

With tlie accumulation of compai'ablc studies of different 
cultures and of different historical periods of tlie aaine society, 
it is becoming evident that the amootlinosa or turbulence of 
the transition to adulthood, and the length of the pei'iod in 
which "adolescent” reactions are manifested, vary as deter- 
mined by the culture and tlie times. Here we con present only 
a few typical examples. 

On basis of his investigation of SdO people wliom ho 
studied intensively, the psychiatrist Sullivan explains why 
the American people have become so pi-eoccupied wiUi the 
problems of sex. 

The data of these patients, in so for as they jiave been pf Amei'ieaii 
and Western Buropean stock, certainly emplinsizo the Kigniflconco of 
experience — remote and recent—^connect^ with genital (sexual) 
btiiavior and the emotion of lust. I have to add a woid of caution 
here, for there ore those among us psychiatrists who make of sex a 
nuclear explanatory concept of personality, or at least of personality 
disorder. This is an error from insufficiency of data. The )\ighly civi- 
lized Chinese of the pre-Ghnstian era were not bowled over by sex. A 
number of tlie primitive peoples who have been studied by anthro- 
pologists ore found to take sex rather in their stride. Even tlie Ameri- 
can Negro crashes through adolescence with relative impunity— if 
he is of the lower classes. 

The lurid twilight which invests sex in our culture is primarily a 
function of two factors. We still try to discourage premarital sexual 
peiformance; hold that abstinence is the moral course before marriage. 

^ G. S. HoU, Adoleaoenao, Jta Ffiychology and Ita RdaUoHs io PhyaUdogy, Anlkro- 
fohgjft Soeiidagy, Sex, Crime, PHtgion atid EduoaHoa, Now York: Apploton, 1004. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 917 

And we discourage early marriage; in fact progressively widen the 
gap between the adolescent awakening of lust and the proper circum- 
stances for marriage. These two factors work through many cultural 
conventions to make us the most sex-ridden people of whom I have 
any knowledge.^ 

In contrast to the prolonged, and in some cases never-ending, 
adolescence period found in more complex societies whose values 
ai’e, as a rule, “casually patterned** and conflicting, the transi- 
tion to adulthood in many simpler cultures is achieved almost 
overnight through more or less laborious initiation ceremonies.* 
After such ceremonies, the adolescent acquires rapidly the eco- 
nomic, sexual, civil, etc., attitudes of the adult member of his 
society. In modem societies too» adolescent boys or girls who 
have to shore tlie economic burdens of their family present a 
somewhat similar picture in teims of the duration of adoles- 
cence. Faced with the grim responsibilities of day-to-doy work, 
these youngsters hove little energy for the usual adolescent 
whims. 

Those cei’omonies indicate the “passing of an individual from 
the position of an economic to that of an eccmomic and 

social asset.** * As pointed out by Kadm, the character of these 
ceremonies and rites, and the subsequent adult attitudes de- 
fining the adolescent's new rights and responsibilities, ore 
loi'gely determined by the economic role of the youngsters pre- 
scribed by the particular social setting. In the primitive cul- 
tures in whicli the economic responsibility lies chiefly with men, 
the initiation ceremonies ore centered, on the adolescent boys. 
But, in a society in whicli woman's economic role becomes im- 
portant, such as the Ashanti of West Africa, pubCTty rites ore 
centered on the.adolescOTt girls. , ^ . 

In Mead’s series of adolescent studies, we find .some strild^ 

* H. S. Sullivan, 0 / Mnim Pi^Aiafrv* Wnabugton, D. €,i Wlllim 

Alonaon White Faychiatrlc EV)uodftUon, 1M7» pp. SB-SS. ' « . 

‘ In the surveys uf Van Gennop, hlead, Radin, and WebsMr, for esampk, we and 
concreto ctuMs of rathw sharp tronnUon io adulthood ochievod within & lelstiveiy short 
t jiwn. See A. Van Genoop. ds -parngt. Fans: 1000; U. .hCsad, from SaulA 

8ta$, BUditt of S« yn Speittff»p New York: hforrow, 1080; 

V, Radin, Primitivo ReUffion, lU Naim and Origin, New York! Vflriiia 1087; H. 
Webster, TahM, A Saoiohgical Biudy, Stanford: Stan^ University Freu, 104S. , 

^ Rndiii, op. eft, p. 70. 




318 An Outline of Social Psychology 

variations in adolescent problems because of vanalions in 
social organization and prevailing norms.*^ Among the Samoans, 
where socially demanded conformity is predominantly in the 
direction of a collective type of behavior, the lot of the ado- 
lescent girl is ratlier an easy one. Certain social nonns in Samoa 
enable youngsters to liave premarital sexual gratiilcation. 
Similarly, among the rather unaggressive Arapesh of New 
Guinea, adolescence is not a period of serious problems. The 
Arapesh consider “tliat all human beings, male and female, 
are naturally unaggressive, self-denying, lightly sexed, com- 
fortably domestic, concerned with growing food to feed growing 
childron** (p. xix). Comparatively speojeing, the rites and ex- 
periences of adolescence iu*e not turbulent. 

On the other liand: “The Tchmnbuli attempt to standardize 
the pei'sonality of the sexes in conti'oating ways — tliey expect 
men to be responsive, intei*eated in tho arts, women to be bold, 
initiating, economically moro i*csponsible (p. xx). The prob- 
lems are aggravated by the “patrioi'chal forma combined with 
personalities more appropriate to matriarchy. . . . Such mixed 
and badly co-ordinated elements cause a good deal of coiifusion 
and functional raolodiustment, especially in the young men 
(p.xxi). ^ 

The plight of the adolescents of the Manus of the Admiralty 
Islands is fraught with harsh problems in sharp couti'ost to 
their blissful childhood days free from any real responsibilities. 
The conflicting efforts of the Manus youngsters aro summarized 
by Mead. The Manus are "driven by a harsh competitive sys- 
tem, hard working and with little tolerance for pleasure or art; 
each man worked for himself and for his own household; the 
future economic security of one’s cliildren was a principal goal. 
But the cliildren hod no part in this adult world of money values 
and hol'd work; they were loft free to play all day in a pleasant 
co-operative world where tliere was no property and no posses* 
siveness. . . . And yet, when they poss^ adolescence, the gen- 
erous gay co-operative Monua childi*en turned into grasping 
competitive Manus adults (p. xii). 

The picture of the adolescent period among the Mundugii- 
mors is no less trying. " They assume that oil children, male and 

* Mead, op, oil. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 319 

female, are naturally aggressive and hostile” (p. xx). Conse- 
quently, "Pre^adolescent Mimdugumor children have an ap- 
peai'ance of harsh maturity and, aside from sex-experience, are 
virtually assimilated to Uie individualistic patterns of their 
society by tlie time they are twelve or tliirteen. Initiation comes 
to girls as somewhat of a privilege granted to them in propor- 
tion os they are aggressive and demanding, to boys as a penalty 
they cannot escape . . (p. 212). 

These examples of adolescent conflicts will suffice to show 
that they are determined by cultural vtuiations. But oue does 
not have to go to distant cultures to find variations in adolescent 
problems, or in fiay otlier area of social behavior for that matter. 
We invariably find variations in the some culture if we trace 
facts in the same area of study with an histoiical perspective. 
The pioneer in the field of adolescence studies, G. Stanley Hall* 
reported over four decades ago that religious preoccupation 
and conversions were among the universal solutions of ^oles- 
cent crises. A glance at the current literature on the subject is 
sufficient to make one realize that the realm of supernatur^ 
values is hardly one of the main areas to which adolescents in 
the some society turn for relief today.® 

The changing character of human relationships tod^ and 
the mere juxtaposition of new values of modem life, beside the 
old complicate the problems of adolescents. This picture of 
confusion is brilliantly described by the Lynds: 

Today, in the presence of such rigorous tenadty to the " old, tried 
ways ” by port o! the population, the range of sanctioned choices con- 
fronting Middletown yowtii is -mdsi, the definition of the one " right 
way " less cleaav That this is the normal situation in the process, we 
call “ social change " does not lessen the confusion it entails. ... If the 
child up to high-school age aasodates, by reason of the.asaignnient of 
each cliild to a grade school on the basis of re^dential propinquity, 
with otlier cliUdren from somewhat similar subcultural backgrounds, 
this homogeneity of sorts is lost when the chiUten pour from all 
quarters into Centrol High School. Here the whole range of cultwal 
tolerances and intolerances grind agoiuat each other; the child of 
parents who think it " cute” and ‘‘attractive" for adaughtei to enamel 
her Tiftiln, use rouge, have a crisp ” permanent,^ and learn to handle 

“ Sue, for exomplo. H. E. Jonei, Dtv^opment in New York: Applaton- 

Century, 1048, p. 10B. , 



Sao An Outline of Social Psychology 

boys’* sits next to tke daughter of a family in which the parents ore 
engaged in a quiet but determined campaign to ch'cumvent the in- 
fluence oE the movies and to keep Uveir daughter " simple ” '‘wnaf- 
fectedi” and ^^healthy-minded.” This widening of contacts witli 
unevenly sanctioned dioices, supported not by out-law individiu^ 
but by groups* means imder tliese ciroumstancea for both parents 
and children uncertainty and tension.^ 

The Bituation of conflict tlmt the American adolescent faces 
today is concisely aummavissed by Kingsley Davis;® “In our 
society* even apart from the family* adolescent finds on 
absence of definitely recognized, consistent pattenis of author- 
ity. Because of tlie compavtmentalization of iJie culture he is 
defined at times as an adult, at other times as a child ” (p. IS). 
Davis allows how the individual adolescent may find sets of 
values which are in harmony at different stages of his develop- 
ment. He concludes; “ 'J'he ^viet system suggests that to moJee 
the school an integral port of the imliLical oiicl economic struc- 
ture, and to give youth a productive role, centeal i>lanning of 
the whole economy is neces.sary ” (p. 1 $), In a society in which 
different groups oi’c integrated to function positively toward the 
some goals, the values that people face at different periods of 
their genetic development may constitute harmonious gradO' 
tions rather than sharp and conflicting breaks. 

Of course, we have to consider adolescents in their specific 
social dosses and other signifloont settings if wo oi'e really to 
imderstand the particulai* problems of Uio particular adolescent. 
Bor example, the members of a group which is discriminated 
against in the general social setting fhee special problems with 
significaut psychological consequences. Thus* in a revealing 
study of social status and physical appearance among Negro 
adolescents, Hill states; 

These Negro youth live at au extremely high level of emotional 
tension by reason of the inconsistency between the democratic ide- 
ology and the reality of their inferior and immobile status in the caste- 
like social pattern. The basic need lor security within this group 
remains unsatisfied so long oa the racial status quo is maintained in 

* B. S. l^od and H, M. Itynd, MiiWtUnon <n' TfansiMont Now Yorkt Harcouit, 
Brace, 1037. p. 17fi. , * 

■ £. Davh, Adoleaconce and tte social struetuie, Ann. Amtr, ^oad. end S<w. 
Soienoi, 1044, 880. R~10. 



Moleaceat Attitudes and Identifications 3ai 

the democratic social order. A significant ramification of ihis unsatia* 
fied need for security involvea the circumscribed apace in which Negro 
adolescents ai>e peimitted to move. To mention a few limitations: 
they are segregated on common carriers and in numetoi^ establishr 
ments which cater to the *'pubUc**; sex contacts with whites ore 
rigidly proscribed; the barrier between the races is at its height in 
regard to such intimate matters as dining and sleeping, extending to 
residential segregation; and finally the pattern of conduct of these 
adolescents toward whites is set by a de^ite racial etiquette. 

As a result of the tension engendered by the lack of free space for 
movement, Ne^o youth become inhibited and frustrated. This frus- 
tration many times leads to overt aggression toward whites, but more 
safely, Negro youth develop overt aggression, defense mechanisms, 
states of apathy and inferior feelings within their own group. 2kD>re- 
over, and not infrequently so, adolescent Negroes attempt to “escape" 
the frustrating situations, physically, psychologically* and socially. 

Still another fact of the tension fdt by Negro adolescents may be 
found in the denial to the Negro social approval as a group. Even 
where a Negro is “lionised,*' he is, os it were, lifted out of hia race and 
given a sort of quasi honorary white status because he, a Negro, has 
accomplished aomething assumed to be beyond the capability of the 
Negro. Prom that time forward he is never "just another Negro*^ sS 
the implication of that expression is generally understood. Ra^er, he 
occupies a marginal position which deprives him of full acceptance 
in either larial group.* < 

With these social variations in adolescents' reactions clearly 
in mind, we can turn to the implications of adolescent attitudes 
and identifications for social psychology. 

The “Adolescent Spurt’* and Its Psychological Ginsequences 

The spectacular period of adolescence, .with its glandular and 
othei* physiological changes, thar deteimination of bodily de-, 
velopment (in height, weight, etc.) epitomized by the expi’casion 
" adolescent spurt,” their inevitable psychological correlates, 
necessarily produces far-reaching effectss m the psychology of 
the boy or giii. These physiologicBl chon^ have at their base 
changes in the endocrine processes. Bifiei'ent endocime glands; 
(tile pituitary, thyroid, adrenai cortex, gonads, eta,), all con- 
tidbute tliwr sharte in the ;aiaturation process of lliis period. 
Under the regulation of these glands, the rate of growth in 

* M. G. BUI, ftyt lfli status and pbyiicad appenninca mhodb ndoleacenti, 



322 An Outline of Social Psychology 

height and weight, ossification, and development in other re- 
spects is occelei'ated os a forerozmei' of pubescence. As a conse- 
quence, the boy or girl approaches the adult male or female 
proportions. These dionges are accompanied by the appeoi*- 
once of the secondary sex characteristics — pubic hair, dionge 
of voice and growth of hair in the boys, growth of bi*easts in 
girls, etc. The sex organs mature into full functioning with the 
advent of a system of changes resulting in mature spermatosoa 
in boys and menstruation in girls. All tliese changes are accom- 
panied by changes in the vit^ functions of the organism (e.g., 
basal metabolic rate).^^ One of tlie important differences ip the 
development of boys and girls at tliis time is the fact that girls 
mature, on the average, more than a year earlier than boys. 
As a result, girls mature earlier socially and can teach boys of 
their own age a few things. 

Aside from any social consequences, these pl\ysiological 
changes themselves certainly produce significant motivational 
and emotional effects which are reflected in the whole ))8ycho- 
logioal functioning of the youngster, in the clionging selectivity 
of his perceptions and disGrinunations— in short, in his whole 
outlook. 

The motivational and emotional tones centered around de- 
veloping sexual maturity, the overflowing vitality of the ado- 
lescent, do not function in a vacuum. Hence psydiological cor- 
relates oi'e not restricted to the inevitable accom 2 >animents of 
physiological changes in feeling and experience. Por these 
changes impose demands in relation to oilier persons in general 
and to the members of the opposite sex in particular, Aware of 
Ilia new powers and desires, especially as provoked by his sur- 
roundings, the adolescent recasts his whole established constel- 
lation of childish” relationships. He gets ideas of the activities 
(sexual and otherwise) of the full-fledged man and woman in 
his setting. He has to fulfill them. 

>> Tlie dotails of orgtuila chan^ during tlio odolosccnt period con bo obtslnod, 
(ot exATnple, in follovrmg aouveoB: B. T. Beldwio, TA« PHitaittal Qrowlh qf CAiidrm 
from Birlh to Mabiritg, Unlvoraltr of lowo Stud, in Child Welfnre, vol. 1, no. 

N. Boylo^t The adoleacont growth atudr: m. Skeletal X-reya as indicators of maturitTr 
J, ConoulU Paifokol,, 1040, 4, 00-79 j N. Bayley andll. Tuddenluim, “AdoieBContchangoe 
iu body build," 43^ yaafboofc. Nati 3oo, Study tf Edw.t 1014, 98-06; 11. G. Hoaklns, 
Tho Tiden Now York: Norton, 1089; H. £. Jonas, op. ait.! C. B. Zachry, Smotiffn 

and Conduct in Adolatooneo, Now York: ApplotoD'Century, 1040. 



Adoleacent Attitudes and Identifications 323 

On the other hand, the parents, other ginwaups, the social 
organization and its noi'nia have their ready-made prescriptions 
as to how the transition to adulthood should be achieved; hence 
there are complications in the adoleacent period which vary 
from cultiu*e to culture. 

In many relatively simple societies, the young man or woman 
uaiioJly “settles down” after the onset of pubei'ty, i-nlfing a defi- 
nite adult I’ole (as husband or wife, with prescribed economic 
and other status). Of course, he may still have his own indi- 
vidual problems. In cultures such as that in the United States, 
where adolescents receive contradictory treaimcnt (at times 
still OS children and at times as grownups), where it usually 
takes many yeai's to settle down as a husband or wife and to 
become an economic and social unit, a prolonged adolescence 
is the general rule. The highly differentiated nature of the social 
organization, its ” dilemmas of status,” and its confiicting val- 
ues do not make the transition to settled adulthood easy, to 
say tlie least. The social problems thus created, their effects on 
the ego-attitudes of the young boy or girl, aie topics of primary 
concern to tlie social psychologist. Here we can present only a 
brief outline of these topics, 

“ ChanginQ amd Changing Self** This terse expression 
of Zacluy’s epitomizes a part of adoleacent psychology. The 
adolescent, now more keenly aware of his body and its parts, 
centers almost the whole ego on them; the body becomes 
“symbolic of the self,”” Especially in a society where birth- 
days are very much in the foreground, any divergence from 
tlie prevailing stondaids for the body, and eyen for parts of it, 
becomes, a great concern to the adolescent. Deviations in bodily 
development in relation to lua age-mates and to socially estab- 
lished standards of development may cause him considerable 
maladjustment. The investigators of adolescence all prteent 
evidence to this effect. For example, Peter Bios reports the case 
of a girl to whom a mole on her cheek became a somce of con- 
tinued wony and “ the focus of heo* self-consciousness,” “ ' 

In his intciiaive longitudinal study of John Sandersi Jones 

Zaohry, of. oit., pp, 30 (f. ' 

» P. DIO 0 . Tho Addnaml PeraonalUf, A 8iu4if V inMhsZ Bekaoiarf Ntnv, Vorlt.* 
Appletoa-Centwy, 1041, p. 08. 



334 An Outline of Socdal Psychology- 

presents a detailed account of the fai'-reaching effects of a dis- 
crepancy in the timm g of the “ adolescent spurt” and the diver- 
gence in bodily proportions from those of the usual run of his 
age-mates.^’ John was on average boy in terms of various 
social characteristics until just prior to the pubescence period 


Enthusiastic 


Popular 


Grawa*ust 

Pig. 37. IVofiles of aociol eitf^nctoristics for John Eaudcrs. 

Tlie dingram represents John's rdative standing in various social obtuv 
octcffistics at different ages as expressed by his nge-mates. It shows the effects 
of his Tetaxded developtnont during aclolescenec. The group meoii for each 
c^raoteristlc is SO; SO ropresonts tho lower oiid of tho distribution. The 
standard deviation of tho group is 10. (llcprintcd from Dmlopnwi\^ in Ada- 
Uttomce by llorold E. Jones. Copyright» 1048, by P. Apploton-Ccntiiry Com- 
pany, Inc.) 

of moat of Ills age-mates. His pubescence was retarded a whole 
year. As a consequence, ** during his junior-high-school years 
John became markedly shorter, lighter and punier m relation to 
olaasmatea** (p. 155, italics mine). When he was 15, in all sorts 
of ways John became a back number— in popularity, initiative, 
good-naturedneas, etc. He exhibited unmistakable signs of 
"anxiety, show-off behavior, and affectation" (p. 165), But 
u Jonei, op. eit. 




Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 325 

a little over two years after puberty, he regained his average 
position in the group. (See l?ig. 27.) 

In Jones’ penetrating analysis of the case, we find the expla- 
nation which is applicable to all such coses. Out-of-phase de- 
velopment, like any out-of-phose steps in relation to the scale in 
one's group, is one of the main causes of one’s status, hence, 
ego problems. In Jones’ words: . . delayed [or premature^ 
maturing may lead not only to loss of status with othra's, but 
also to the anxiety expressed in the question, ‘Am I normal?* 
When the biological innovations of adolescence are at lost 
clearly avowed, a turning point may be reached not mei'ely in 
physiological development, but ^so in social recognition and 
in feelings of personal security. Tlie interpretation followed 
above stresses the social slgnificanco of adolescent changes, iuid 
implies that the psychological effect of these changes rests upon 
the degree to which an individual ia s^itive to the norms and 
values of his social environment” (p. 156). 

The adolesoent’s concern to prove himself os a person ap- 
proaching adult level is' not limited to the desire to attaia the 
body pixipoitions expected in ^ group. He hsiii to proVe that 
he feels, actSt and participates in activities like the usual adult 
male (or female) of his group. Pxom the prevailing'noims and 
practices of masculinity or feminity, he deriveis his impression 
of tlie typical masculine or feminine roles, values, and preoccu- 
pations of his society. As pointed out by the Lynds'* and 
others, his veiy conception of masculine or feminine *' human 
nature is formed on the basis of norms and prtotices that 
fidurish in his setting. Some of the conci'ete features of this 
derivation ore summarized by the California mvestigators 
who worked with Harold Jones:’ 

FsychologiceJly also the girl feels a necessity ot prowng to herself 
and to the world that she is essentially feminine; the boy needs to 
demonsti'ote that he has those masculine qualities which require 
others to recognize him as a man. This characteristic accounts for 
girls spending a large part of their leisure time in. shopping in 
personal i^ornment. This is the secfet of the manicured nails, painted 
red to matdi vivid lips. This is why they must wave and curl thwr 
hair, and, having perfected the process, must pin into it ribbon bo^s, 

w fleq Lynd nnd I^rnd, ep. «V,, pp. 170 ff. . 



326 An Outline of Social Psychology 

bits of lacei or flowers. This is the reason for the boy*a urge to learn 
to drive a car and for hia willingness to move heaven and earth to bor- 
row or own one. Along with this development* also* we are told by 
our group that a girl to be popular must be modishly pretty, keep 
hersdf clean and neat* be a good mixer. A boy, on the other Imd, 
must be aggressive and must eimel at sports. He must have the ability 
to dance and to talk easily witli girls* and in addition ho must show 
that he cim compete readily with other boys; that he can achieve and 
master. 

This dichotomous picture of male and female natures which 
was histoncolly based on the economic roles of the sexes is not 
universal today. But only in a few social groups oi'c the norms 
regulating masculine and feminine roles bnsed on the facta of 
biology and not on the survival heritage that has come down 
from distant centuries. 

AdolesoerU Instahiliiy and Crises, The frustrated desires 
(especially sexual during this period)* ilie resistance to the 
adolescent's strivings to establish himself as on adult with the 
values, identifications, and ocUvities that go witli adult status, 
and tlie "marginality” experienced between the positions of 
cliild and grownup lead to feelings of inadequacy, olononess, 
and instabfiity. The result is a fluid state of ogo-attitudos. In 
adverse social settings, thei’e may be serious instability resell- 
ing the proportions of crises. These unstable ego-attitudes ai'e 
manifested in various degrees of strivings by tlie adolescent for 
emancipation from the established authoiity of growniqis and 
the prevoilmg practices imposed on him. This is cliaracterized 
by Hollingwori as "psychological weaning.” “ (Of course the 
intensity of the strivings for emancipation or "psyoliological 
weaning” varies from society to society and is subject to varia- 
tions determined by individiud differences and the case histoiy 
of the particular adolescent.) One of the best ways of gauging 
such adolescent instability and crises is by the manifestations 
of the adult-youth conflict. 

The Conflict of OeneraHons, The facts of parent-youth con- 
flict, so colorfully portrayed in works on adolescence, have 
meaning only in relation to the conflict between the adoles- 

" H. It. StolE, M, C. Jonoa, and J. Choffo}'* Tlie junior lilgli acliool oge, Unw. High 
SokootJ., im, IS, Off. 

h. HdUngwiirth, Tht tfu Adol 0 sm)nt, Now York: Appleton, 1DSB. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 827 

cent’s overflowing desires and bis strivings to establish himself 
as a person in his own right on one hand, and adult authority 
and values on the other. It is, therefore, safe to generalize that 
the degree of parent-youth conflict in any society at a given his- 
torical period is proportional to the discrepancy between the 
desires and values of the adolescents and of the established gen- 
eration. Hence the conflict of generations can become meaning- 
ful only if we start with the sociology of parent-youth conflict. 
The aociologiat Kingsley Davis proposed the following oa fac- 
tors aggravating the conflict: *'(1) the rate of social change; 
(2) the extent of complexity in die social structure; (3) &e 
degree of integration in the culture; and (4) the v^ocity of 
movement (e.g. vertical mobility) within the structure and 
its relation to the cultural values.** ” 

Today almost all the societies in the world are to some degree 
in a state of transition. The conti'adictions and conflicts of old 
and new values in contemporaiy Amei'ican life have been for- 
cibly brought to light by sociologistfi. The manifestations of the 
con^ct of generations are epitomized in one of the investigations 
at the University of Cniifomia "baaed upon tin intensive study 
of one himdred boys and one hundred girls which has been 
carried on during the three-year period that they were enrolled 
in junior high sdhool." In the words of the authors: 

Adult approval or disapproval meant ohnost nothing to these 
adolescents except as it might ^ect the attunment of their goal. In 
fact there was a noticeable resistonce, not so much to authority, os 
our rules seldom got in their way, but amply to adults as such. Those 
girls and boys who wore in the throes of establisbing themselves 
socially were the most antagonistic toward adults. They manifested 
this attitude chiefly by sliunning adults and acting os if their presence 
were a hindrance. Six months later these same pupils were likely, to be 
the ones who hung around and talked to adults as if, being quite 
grown up now, they needed to folk and associate with other ,^wn 
persons.^* 

In a country undergoing a rapid transitioni in which feudal 
Oriental values of authority and the unreal world of Hollywood 

i* K. Davis, The sociology of porent-youth conflict, dmer. SooioL 194^ 6, 
P.5SS. ' 

i* Stoll, Jones, and ChaSciyi op, sii., p< 8> ' ' . ' 



328 Aq Outline of Social Psycliology 

exist side by sidcj the conflict of generations acquii*es still greater 
proportions. This ^vas the case in Turkey, as sliown in our 
studies of adolescence during 1937-^1945. Among other ma- 
tei'iol collected were the queationmure results for over 9,000 
boys and girls.^^ A speciiil effort was mode in designing these 
questionnaii*es to get reactions conceiving the couilict of gen- 
erations. The two following adolescent reactions chosen from 
this study reveal the conflict in a typical way. “The grown-ups 
cannot understand me, because they are people of tlie last cen- 
tury whereas I belong to tliis century* Things wliich do not 
please them are veiy pleasing to me.” And: ** We do not think 
grown-ups understand us. As there is a great difference between 
die periods in which we have grown up they misunderstand us 
and frictions come out as a consequence.'* 

These reactions reveal tyiiically the adult-youth conflict in 
urban ai'eas — -which are in a gi’eater flux, with more contra- 
dictory values tlian rural. In rural areas the problem is not so 
intense hecaiiae of the greatei' homogeniety of vidues, early 
marriage, and the change of economic status required of 
youngsters. 

According to a journalist’s recent report, a similar state of 
affairs exists in present-day Bgypt.’^ As a result of tlie “social 
ferment ” since the firat World War and accelerated by the 
second, tlie youth of Cairo and Alexandria ar© overtly ot odds 
with the adult generation. In. rural areas of Egypt, life retains 
some of its homogeneity. But in the cities, some young men de- 
nounce their fatliers os “raprobates “ and even “robbers/' 
Many a Moslem city girl defles hei' family by adopting all the 
Hollywood modes and manners within her means. As one girl, 
speaking of her family’s disapproval of her unconventional 
behavior, said: “But I tell them I don't want to be like them. 
I wont to be a new woman and nothing else. ... It is so niucli 
fun to be free, and, anyway, I am earning my own living, and 
my family cannot stop me,” 

Special momentous events, such as war and depression, com- 
plicate things further. For example, Eomarovslgr reports on 

u Borne of tlieu data are ineerporated b a thesia by Nllufer Miaanoglu, on file in 
the Library, Univeraity of Ankara, Turkey. 

" M. Hindus, " Spirit of Youth Stirs 3Sgypt,” N»u York Usrali Tribwntt August U, 
1M7, p. SS. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications S29 

families duri^ llie depression in wKich parental authority 
sufiered heavily owing to the loss of ^nployment and inade* 
quate fulfillment of family responsibility.” We ore all faTnilinp 
with the effects of the recent war caused by youngsters*, par- 
ticularly young women's, participation in and retirement from 
war-time factory and military jobs. 

Direct nnd Substitutive Reactions ef the Adolescent in Sat- 
isfying and.Establishing Himself Anew 

The adolescent is motivated to satisfy the new desii^es which 
come to him crowned with a halo of dramatic proportions. Anri 
he is motivated to satisfy them in the approved ways of his 
group. He is now in the throes of establishing himself anew, 
with greater frenzy than in childhood. He is motivated to find 
appropriate channels for the tensions of his new, overflowing 
energy. Necessarily, he develops and adopts new interests, new 
attitudes, and new identiflcations. He devises new types of 
direct or substitutive activities. For example, meeting resist- 
ances in his surroundings, he may turn inward to a sdl-mposed 
isolation in a world of fantasy and revetie, to diory-^mtinga to 
the woi'ship of real or imoginaiy idols, heroes of his own cre- 
ation. It is intei'esting that in somal settings which do not afford 
ample chances for overt activities such as dancing, sports, etc., 
keeping a diory and indulging in fantasies are more prevalent. 
Li die extreme coses of introvemon, substitutive reactions msy 
result in abnormalities. Suicide may be thought of or at- 
tempted. 

In other cobcb (especially in Bocieties which encourage overt' 
activities, competition, and perfection in work) school, social 
activities, or soipe other field may be seized upon ^ ail outlet: 
Even though it mokes f ascihatuig reading, ^e shall not; take 
the space to describe discrete items concerning adolescent inter- 
ests, attitudes, and identifications. 

J^ects qSE^wmce Idols and Qrotsps in Deiemining Adoleseertt 
AtHiudes and IdentifmHons. It seems that the major 'ado- 
lescent attitudes and identifications con be encompassed within 
a functional scheme of reference idols and reference groups. 

M. Komorovaky, Tht Vwmfloyed ifan and SU Fami^, New York; Dryden, 
1940 . ’ 



330 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Por the adolescent— driven by newly developed sexual desires, 
tossing around in instability and, at times, in crisis caused by 
conflicting situations, his ego caught in the most spectacular 
stage of transition — strives to re-andior himself. Lodi of stable 
anchorings, we repeat, is painful. This instability and ciisia in 
ego-linlcs, in turn, reacts on his sex desires, which initially 
may have been responsible for raising such acute ego issues. 
Any mate will not do; sex also must be satisfied within a frame- 
work of adolescent belongingness. As Tiyon observed: '^Boys, 
to be successful with girls, must bo admired by boys. . . .” ” 
This fact complicated the plight of John Sanders, whose case 
was reported by Harold Jones. Because he was considered a 
bock number in his social setting around the age of 15, no gii>l 
with any self-respect would go out with him. If she did, sKe 
would lose her chances with the lionized boys. 

Psychologically driven to a ** self-imposed isolation” by the 
foice of contradictory values at a time when lliey are super- 
sensitive, oflolescents look toward each other to find a setting 
of security and recognition that actually counts for them. 
Usually the only confidants who really can be trusted are their 
age-mates. Age-mates can truly appreciate and share the 
significance of tilings that are important to them. Some of the 
by-products of iliese associations ai'o the host of distinctive 
adolescent styles (blue jeans, etc.), standardized symbolisms, 
meaningful catch words, standardized conceptions of aclueve- 
ment and status, collectively lionized heroes (Pi'ank Sinatra, 
Van Johnson, Clark Gable, etc.), exaggerated individual or 
collective hero worship. Such by-products and standardized 
status relationships, witli their (of course, fluid) hierarcliy of 
significant things and persons, ore so widespread that Harold 
Jones refers to them as ''adolescent culture,” Peter Bios as 
“peer-culture.” 

Of course, adolescents know tlio values that grownups try 
desperately to implant in tliem. They are usually exposed to 
them and bored by them. A 16-year-old boy from Wilmington, 
Pelaware, put his “gripes ” and “peeves” against his parents 

^ C. III. Tryon, ISvaliiatlonj of adolewont by odolosconts, In R, G. Barker, 
J. S. ICounin, and H. V. Wriglit (eds.), Child Behavitr md Deidopnml, Now York) 
MoGrawHSI, 1048, p. 808. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 831 


in the following words ; ” Being called in the morning more than 
twice. Having them tell me what to eat. Being yelled at in the 
bathroom in the morning. Being asked questions about home- 
work. Being ' called down * about my school marks. Having to 
tell them where I*ve been on dates, where l*m going and who 
I'm going with. Always being nagged about the length of time 
I use the phone, the light 1 r&id in, and the radio programs 1 
heoi'.’; 

A high school girl in California, “ peeved " by the interfei-ence 
of her parents in her activities with her age-mate group, re- 
marked: “I am afraid my friends will think I have no control 
over my parents.” “ 

The adolescent's sense of belongingness is, to an important 
degree, with his group. Hence his allegiance, his conformity, his 
idiosynci’osies, make real sense in relation to his age-mate 
group and its values. To this effect Zachry writes: “In the 
sti’uggle to establish himself as a pei'son in his own right, inde- 
pendent of adults, the adolescent measures his success against 
that of those whose status is similai* to his.” ^ ' 


Bios substantiates this generalization. “ Group opinion serves, 
then, as a selective influence for desirable and tmdesirable be- 
havior, and the approval or disapproval of peei^s becomes pro- 
gressively the most influential force in motivating adolescent 
conduct. . . . This belongingness to the group, which becomes 
progressively important for the adolescent, replaces family ties 
to some extent and thus prepares him for new conformities and 


identifications implicit in the group life of adults.” •• 

■ Shuilorly, Stolz, lit. C, Jones, and Chaffey concluded'. ■ ' 


As we look bock over this three-year period during which we have 
measured, questionedi watclied these youngsters in the early stages 
of adolescent development, certain changes in interests, attitudes, and ' 
activities seem to have accompanied the physical changes and to be 
more or leas typical of the group. One of the ouUtoAding facts that 
we have noticed about these children as they grow into adolescence is 
their preoccupation with social activities. There is an overwhelming 
desire among these typical junior high school childien to be with other 
children, to understond themselves in their relations to others in their 


^ Stolz, Jonos, and Chaffee, op. eif., p. i. 
** 2acliry, op. eit., p. 800. 

* Bloa op, oit,, pp. S40-2SO. 



S82 An Outline of Social Psychology 

age group. . . . There are several cliaracteristics of this phase of social 
awareness which distinguish it from the play of younger cliildren and 
from the social contacts of adults. One of the most potent drives be- 
hind this urge for social activity is derived from the youngsters* desire 
for group approval. To achieve this approval they must adapt them- 
selves to the ways of the groupj substituting its standards for tliose of 
the home and the school*^ 

Clique FomaUona. Sudi terms ns “ peer-culture ** give only a 
genei’ol picture of adolescent age-inaLe effects. We must now 
be more specific. As psychologists, we deal in terms of demon- 
strable gi'oup belongingness and its effects in forming tastes, 
attitudes, identifications, etc. Such adolescent refei'enco groups 
are the cliques and gangs which are ahnost universally found 
in any social miliou which gives rise to motivational conflicts 
and renders the developing ego unstable. 

Under tlie strain of adolescence one’s stability is shaken with 
crisis, inaecurityi and frustration In various degrees. Caught in 
this situation, adolescents gravitate towoi'd each otlior. They 
try to find comfort in their own intimate relationships. They 
shai'e secrets. They develop common tastes in movies, books, 
dancing, adventure, in relation to persons, groups, etc. With all 
of these common ties they form a group, a clique or gang of two, 
three, or more with the unmistakable properties of an informal 
group sU’uotuve (see the diecu^iou of the properties of groups, 

pp. 100-106). 

Once the group is fonned, even if it lasts for only a short 
pei'iod, the status experienced by the member is derived from 
his membership in it. His feelings of security Ore dependent to 
a large extent on his clique ties. The binding loyalties and goals 
for him exe related to his clique or his gong. His attitudes and 
identifications (U’o shaped or oltemd by tiro group norms and 
prestige idols tliat prevail in the clique. He goes a long way 
to defend or uphold the group members or pei'sons high in the 
prestige hierarchy of the group— at times witli a considerable 
degree of sacrifice to himself. 

In return, the clique or gong provides him with a feeling of 
** security” in group belongingness and in collective responsi- 
bility at a time when he is abandoning childhood relationships 


^ Stolz, Jonoa, and Chafley, op. oil., p. 2. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications SS3 

and “ reorienting himself in terms of mature goals. In response 
to the pressures of peer culture, hia family patterns of relation- 
ship, identification, and feeling life are gradually modified in 
the direction of group norms.** ^ 

The sti'eiigth of the solidarity that prevails in the adolescent 
cliques or gongs is concisely conveyed by Goodenough: “Not 
only does the adolescent, as a rule, begin to show a new interest 
in the opposite sex, but a new element appears in his relation- 
ships with persons of lus own sex. This is tlie formadon of chibs 
or gongs. It is, of course, true tliat long before the age of ado- 
lescence children play together in groups and form special 
friendships that give these groups something of a lasting char- 
acter. Bui in most esses die social groups foimed by young 
cliildren lack the solidarity and tlie f^ing of group-conscious- 
ness that characterise the adolescent gang or club.** 

Very much in liannony with the significant finding of the 
ex])erimontal })sychologiats to the effect that one’s goals and 
aspirations are determined by one's reference group, Zachry 
observed that the standards of the clique or gong become the 
adolescent's own standards: “It js significant also that in his 
oompliaiice witli gang standai’ds he is taking a step toward self- 
determination in conduct, since this group is m^e up not of 
tliose who arc much larger and stronger than he but of those 
who are like him in appearance, capacities, and interests. Thus 
tlieae standards ore more marly hU own than wei'e those which 
he acquired so oai'ly that he does not remoinbei' how this came 
about, and some of which lie is now relinquishing for die time 
being at least.” ® 

As in any group, whether formally or spontaneously orgon- 
ized, adolescent cliques or gangs exert their own correctives in 
cases of deviation from their standardized norms. Camei;on, 
who studied groupings among 200 junior high school pupils, 
vividly, described an aspect of group correctives at work: "Let 
anyone get conceited about his status, or ride too high on a 
wave of popularity, and witliout wmning a torrent of invectives 
will be let loose. With merciless directness and intolerance the 


^ Uloa, ftp. 0 ^., p. aS4. 

** F. L, Goodenough, Dpodopmmial PtifohohgVt New York: Appleton-Centuty, 
Siifl ed., lOlB, p. 401. 

* Z^iry, op. eit^t p. 169 f. (iUlles mlno). 



334 An Outline of Social Psychology 

offending person’s prestige is battei’ed into shreds and he is 
left to fend for himself in getting bade into the group.” (p. igg) 

In proportion to the oonsequmcea of deviation from tlie code 
of the group, correctives become more and more severe. As 
pointed out by Thrasher, in delinquent gangs squealing, which 
is considered the worst evidence of a rotten choi'octer, may be 
punished bj' ostracism, heating, and extreme coses , . . 
death.” 

Before closing tliis brief discussion, we should call attention 
to the finding that adolescent school-girls around tlio age of 15 
show a greater tendency to form diques than boys at tlie some 
age level. On the basis of the results of a “ best friends item on 
a reputation test administered to boys and girls hi an Oakland 
public school, Campbell constructed sociograms indicating 
reciprocal friendships. Prom these results, Campbell concludes: 
** Association into cliques of two, three, or more individuals 
seems to be fairly descriptive of the girls. In general, the 
cliques are rather closely knit together with few lines of relo- 
tionship between members of one clique and members of an- 
other.”®* (See Pig. 88.) It is rather risky factually to interpret 
these interesting results in terms of a greater tendency for girls 
to form group structures. We should say that 15-year-oId girls 
have reaped a year or so earlier tlian boys of tlie same age the 
” psychological weaning” fiK>m parental authority and, in 
their efforts at omanicipation, gravitated to each other to form 
somewhat closely knit groups. Under .different conditions of the 
American setting, under the tough conditions of tlio slums of 
a large city, it is the frustrated and deprived boys who foim 
cliques, at an even younger age. In short, wo sliall advance the 
hypothesis that states of insecurity or deprivation cause indi- 
viduals (male or female) to gravitate toward each otlior to form 
temporary or lasting group 8tructui*es. Por we derive our status 
links and feelings of security, os well as oiu^ goals, from the 

W. J. Camaron. A study of social development in ndolosccnco, unpublislied, 
UnlVOrsity of CallforalA. Inst. Child Wdforo. 

^ If. Thrashor, The Oanf, Chicago'. 'UnivcrBlty of Chicago Freu, lOS?, p. Ml. 

* H. M. Campbol), Sox dlirorencea obtained by the ''Gtiosa Wlu»'* technique In 
reputation as.'icesmcnts Riven and received by odolescent boya and glrla, Thesis on flla 
in tiio Library of the University of Goiifornifi, 1041, p. 1S6. 



BEST FRIENDS -BOYB 



Bsar FRIENDS -omifl 



1?I0. S8. SociogrnmB allowing ogo-mAbo friendships in n class of adolescent 

boys and girls. 

Note the welUkmb fslcnddivp clueUrs (cliques) amqng Uie girls. Cirde 7ft 
in the upper right corner (see arrow) indicates the peripheral social position 
of .Tohu Elders. (Bcpriiited from DewlopmnU tft Adole»meB by Harold 
Jones. Copyright, lD4di by D. Applcbou-Ceufcury pompony, Inc.) ' 



S36 


An Outline of Social Psychology 

groups that we belong to. The experience of laclc of group be- 
longingness disTiipts them alL 

Adolescent Idols and Heroes. It would be incoiTect to elitiir 
that all adolescent attitudes and identifications can be encom- 
passed in relation to group formations. Belongingness and its 
derivatives need not have group lefevencea, They may be repre- 
sented in crushes and love ties. For if the sexual factor goes 
beyond itself to embrace one’s chenshed ego components— 
this is obaracteriatic of any love situation — we have a perfect 
cose of identification with tire constellation of attitudes that 
goes with it. Such identification need not be in relation to some- 
one with whom wo are in actual contact. The person may be a 
movie star or even a character in a play or a novel. Steinbeck 
describes a poor snack-room waitress) Noma) who» in her 
moments alone* tries to malce herself in her own mind what 
Clark Gable would lilce. She speaks to him os if lie were actually 
present. Hollingworth, in her work on adolescence» reports the 
doliglitful case of a 14-year-old boy who began to appeal' every- 
where, in the lectiu'e room, dining hall, etc., with his hat on. 
He would not take it off in spite of the warnings of liis teachers - 
and parents, who were aghast at this queer behavior. This 
idiosyncrasy, which certainly was part and parcel of otiicr be- 
havior manifestations produced by the same factor, was per- 
fectly understandable in terms of the boy’s I'efei'ence idol, “He 
would not remove his hat, because William Bonn (his model 
for the moment) hod refused to take his hat off in assemblies I ” 

Adolescents in the Established Social Sotting 

Lest the mistaken impression be given tliat adolescent refer- 
ence groups and idols ore lasting affaii's, we should soy a few 
words on the ultimate definitive effect of the established society. 
Some individuals may go through life or part of it witliout 
really readiiug a psy^ologically settled state. And they may 
exhibit adolescent attachments, idiosyncrasies, and other mani- 
festations of their unsettledness even in their old age — os evi- 
dent especially in old maids and baolielors. Tlieir adolescent 
affairs and adventures impel them to fantasies and actual 
monologue-like conversations. 

** Hollli\8worth, oj>. oH., p. 170. 



Adolescent Attitudes and Identifications 337 

But tlie majority do get settled down. Getting settled down 
means being established in a family, work, profession, club, or 
any other organized group with definite hierarchies of statuses 
and rathei' rigidly established codes of conduct that require con- 
formity. Once enmeshed in the organized web of such groups, 
the former adolescent wonts to and has to adopt the values of 
his established setting and to jregulate his behavior accordingly. 
Tlirough such conformities to his now reference groups, he be- 
comes a respectable member of die group and attains a status 
more or leas proportional to his zeal in assimilating and actively 
upholding tlie values and goals of the group. (Of course this 
group is not necessarily one whose values ore in harmony with 
those of the loi'ger social setting. However, most group values 
. are.) 

It is safe to generalize tliat the assimilation of the conti'o-, 
dictory, rigid values of the established group is not due to 
mere knowledge or mechanical practice. The individual was 
exposed to adult values os an adolescent, and even before. 
Their effective assimilation is derived from accepted member- 
ship in established groups. As a result, these established groups 
become his reference groups in the psydiologicol sense, and the 
abandonment of his adolescent loyalties and enthusiasms fel- 
lows as a ooiisoquence. The studies on attitude change point in 
this direction. Just to cite one outstanding illusti'ation, the 
Bennington study showed us that the change of attitude or, on 
the other hand, tlie resistance to change, was a function of , 
(a) tfie degree of assimilaiion in the new group and (6) die degree 
<f adherence io previous groups cf which die individual was a 
member. 

It is not the warnings, advice, and punishments of the par- 
ents, teachers, probation or reform school authorities which 
ore really effective in eradicating gangs and the gong spirit. 
The effective factor is the feeling of becoming a member, of be- 
longing (in the psychological sense) to. other groups. 

Once settled in the respectability of the established society, 
with as]nrations to better his position in the hierarchical or-, 
rongements tluis faced, the former adolescent may consider 
the associations, values, and feats which once seemed very 
urgent, as crazy recklesaneas. This is vividly portrayed in Stein- 



3S8 An OxiUinc of Social Psychology 

beclc*s artistic c.ross-section analysis of contemporary social 
relationships : 

At bottom, and originollyt Mr. Pritchard was not like this, He had 
once voted for Eugene Debs, but that had been a long time ago. It was 
just that the people in his group loatched one another. Any variation from 
a code of conA%ui was first noted, then diseussed. A man who varied was 
not a sound man, and if he persisted no one would do business vrUh him. 
Protective coloring was truly protective. But there was no double 
life in Mr. Pritchard. He had ^ven up his freedom and then hod for- 
gotten what it was like. He thou^t of it now ns youthful folly. He 
put his vote for Eugene Debs alongside his visit to a parlor house 
when he was twenty. Both were ttiings to be expected of growing boys. 
He even occasionally mentioned nt a dub luncheon his vote for Debs, 
to prove that he hod been a spirited young man luid that such things 
were, like a kid’s acne, a port of the process of adolescence. But d- 
thou^ he excused and oven, enjoyed his prank in voting for Debs, he 
was definitely worried about the activities of his daughter Mildred. 

She was playing around with dangei'ous companions in her college, 
professors and certain people consideml Red. Before the war she had 
picketed a scrap-h'on ship bound for Japan, and she liad gatliered 
money for medical supplies for what Mr. Piitehord called Uie Reds 
in the Spanish war. He did not discuss these tilings with Mildred. She 
didn't want to talk it out with him. And he liod a stiong feeling that 
if everyone was quiet and controlled slie would get over it. A husband 
and a baby would resolve Mildred's political uneasiness. She would 
then, he said, find her true values.** 

** 3, Steinbeck, The H'oyuonf flvf, New York: The Viking Yrau, Inc., 1017, pp. 
41*^ (Itolici mine). 



u. 

Social Distance (Prejudice) 


9 


imDOTTDTBDLY B1COATT8Q OF THB CONSBQUBNTIAl< BFFECTS OF 
prejudice in human relationships — ns revealed In discrimination, 
in the denial of opportunities of living and development, in 
exploitation, and even in grim cruelties — ^more work has been 
done in recent years on prejudice than on any other* special 
topic. In tliis chapter, we ahe^l touch upon a few major features 
of prejudice wliicii ai-e most relevant to social psychology. Our 
concern will be grcu-p prg’itdtee— viz., prejudice manifested by 
members of one group toward other groups and, consequently, 
toward individual members thereof. Psychiatrists are daily 
handling the psychology and therapy of interpersonal frictions, 
maladjustments, and their consequences. 

Group prejudice may be characterized as the negative atti> 
tude of members of one group toward another group and its 
members. We have already discussed the psychology of atti- 
tudes (Chapters 9 and 10). The designation of the attitude of 
prejudice os negative is amply justih^ by the results of preju- 
dice studies. The negative feature of prejudice has been 
demonstrated in terms of the aoQial distonos at which the mem-' 
bers of a prejudiced group hold another group and its members 
in relation to themselyes. With the use of the Bogardus social 
distance scale ^ and valuations bosed on it,’ the degree of preju- 
dice of one social group against another is measured quite satis- 
factorily, The setde discloses the degree of proximity to which 
members of one group would admit members of various other 
groups. In the fom used by Murphy and Likert, the subjects 

^ B. S. Dogardua, A aocinl <llstance eefllei Sooiologf/ and Social Reaeartdt, 1988f p. 17. 

* Fbr exiimplei aoo G. lUCiirpliy and R. Lfkert. htildio Opinion and tha Indindwlf 
Now York: Harper, 1088; and G. Ilarticr, pToilmo Ui Pritjudwe, Nev'Ywk; iQn^ 
Crown Press, 10*10. 

880 ' ' - 



840 


An Outline of Social Psychology 

were aslced to express their willingness to accept various groups 
(Canadians, Chinese, English, Spanish, Turks, etc.) on the 
following scale of proximity in relation to themselves : 

1. To close kinship by marriage. 

2. To my club as personal chums. 

5. To my street os neighbors. 

4. To employment in my occupation in my country. 

6. To citizenship in my coimtry. 

6. As visitors only to my country. 

7. Would exclude from my coimtry. 

As we shall see briefly in tlie next section, a rather consis- 
tent scale of social distance has been exhibited in America 
over a period of a good many years. The social distance 
thus manifested may be expressed as ego-diaUmce in terms 
of the single individual members. At least a majority of the 
members identify tliemselves so closely with the standardized 
values and prejudices of their group that they experience them 
as their own ego-attitudes. It is off the mm'k to ti'eat the prob- 
lem of group prejudice only in terms of dynamics of individual 
frictions, jealousies, and enmities. Group prejudice is a stand- 
ardized product of the group and in deiuing with prejudice we 
have to treat it as such. Otlierwise, we shall he paying only , 
lip service to the conclusive flndings concerning the structure 
properties of group interaction and its products. The member 
of a group acquires bis prejudices against other groups in exactly 
the same way that he acquires his identifications, values, loyal- 
ties, and responsibilities. In order to be a good member of tlie 
group, he has to share those prejudices ns well ns other values 
of his group— positive and negative. This being die fact, it is 
no wonder that no significant correlations have been obtained 
between freedom from prejudice and the degree of contocb widi 
the members of the group against which prejudice is directed,* 
or between information and freedom from prejudice.* There- 
fore, characterizations of gi'oup prejudice os an attitude based 
on laclc of information, lack or abundance of contact with the 

* Seo, for oxomple, E. norowiUSi Tho development of atUtudoe toword tlio Nogro, 

Archt 1080, no. 104: nnd B. *'Bace Attitudoe,” In 0. KHnoborg 

(ed.), Charaeleri^oa qf ihe AiMriaan Nogn, Now York: Hnrpcr, 1044, Fart IV. 

* Murpliy and Lilrart, op. etl,, pp. 181 f. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 341 

group in question. Have no basis in reality. Ameliorative meas- 
ures that are based on increased information and contact 
have foiled utterly. As we shall see later in this chapter, the 
presence or absence of prejudice in an individual is predomi- 
nantly a result of membership in his group and the degree of his 
conformity to its standardized values (positive and negative). 
The average individual member of a group exhibits the degree 
of prejudice toward the member of another group prescribed 
by the social <li8bance scale of his group. Otherwise, no white 
boy or girl would keep the N<^o nurse who cored for him 
her place** as a Negro after he or she grows up and acquires 
the masculine or feminine attitudes of the social setting. It was 
with these considerations in mind that we deliberately specified 
in our characterization of prejudice that it is the negative atti- 
tude of the members of tlie group. 

After this brief characterization, wc shall glance at the pic- 
ture of prejudice in one country and then analyze it. 

A Gonorol Picture of Ihejudice 

We have now a quantified picture of the social distance at 
which the American people hoH various national and religious 
groups living in America and elsewhere. But, it must be said, 
prejudice, or keeping other groups (minority or otherwise) at 
certain social distances, is not the monopoly of the American 
scene. Even a superficial glance at historical and contemporary 
national groups reveals bliat wherever economic, politick, tod 
cultural interests and institutions clash, n set of negative- 
straits” attributed by one group to nnother emerges and be- 
comes standardized as a i^esult of the confiict. Once such 
Straits’* become standardized, they tend to continue to be held 
by the group even after the actual confiict between the two 
gi'oups has sliifted or disappeared. 

One illustration of tiiia point is the attitudp toward T!^ks, 
who ore put consistently in the remotest segment of the soci^ 
distance scale in the United States- In reality, probably npt one 
Amei'ican in a thousondhas set eyes on a Turk-rthere being, so, 
few Turks iii America. The picture , of the Turk held in the 
United States certainly comes down all the way from the }o^ 
wars in the Middle Ages (the Cru8ade8)> the invasion of parte of 



34ft An Outline of Social Psychology 

Europe by the Ottoman Empire which laatetl until nearly the 
end of the nineteenth century, to tlie first World Wap. This 
fact, the implications of whidi have not been duly stressed in 
many social distance studies, is pointed out by Dollard : “ It is 
probably also true that inherited patterns lu^e records of ancient 
rivalries and exist as the detritus of former group conflicts. 
In Uie case of current American antagonism against the image 
of the * Turk,* one has no difficulty in surmising tliat tlie his- 
torical conflicts between Kohammedanism and Christianity 
have given rise to this image, and that the tliveatening concep- 
tion of tlie Turk has been still more recently roinforced by tlie 
wai’-time propaganda against Turkey,** “ 

It is interesting to note that tlie prejudice against Turks is 
sharper in the United States than in l^e European countries 
that dealt more directly with them. This came out in our own 
observations in Europe in 1933 and 1030. It may be safe to 
posit the thesis that tlie more isolated a group is (which was 
the case with America until the recent tedmolugical and eco- 
nomic developments), the greater the tendency to perpetuate 
and even accentuate such features of the culture. Perhaps the 
archaic nature of the Prench used in Canada as compared 
with the Ereiicli used in Prance may be accounted for on the 
basis of the same tendency. 

On the other hand, it is not enough to emphasize this cul- 
tural lag. Certainly actual conflicts between groups contribute 
infinitely more effectively to the intensification of prejudice. 
As illustration of the point, we may cite the struggle of the 
Negroes in the South to adiieve status as people, and the meas- 
ures token to keep them "in their place,** cliiefly by the monop- 
olists in the economy (in both the South and the Noi*th). 

In view of the recent attempts to account for prejudice in 
terms of frustrations of single individuals or in terms of knowl- 
edge or ignorance, it is necessary to keep in mind certain general 
facta which can be easily substantiated. The scale or hierwchy 
of prejudice, in settled and stable times, flows from the politi- 
cally, economically, and socially strong and eminent down to 
lower hierarchies of thq established order. The time to look 
for the greatest and most impregnable hierarchies of social dis- 


* J. Dollard, Hostility and fear in sociid life, Fonws, 108S, 17, 18-S0. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 343 

tance is in the mightiest periods of the empires. A glance at the 
Greek, Roman, Turkish, British, or French empire, for example, 
shows convincingly that the periods of highly observed sociai 
distances and their psychological correlates were the **golden 
ages ** of those empii'es. The caste system in India, which is 
disintegrating now, was not the idea of the ignorant and 
frustrated “ untouchables.** It wns the philosophical Brahmins 
and the British masters of tlie local Lidian princes and rulers 
who were interested in keeping tliese delineations intact. The 
psychological correlates of these delineations in the form of 
alleged inherent capacities and ** traits ** corresponding to the 
politico-economic scales have certainly been effective at times 
in keeping various groups **in their place," sometimes of their 
own volition. Such a standardised product is the “white man*8 
burden** closely associated witli the mighty days of the British 
Empire. A standardized norm of tliis sort justifies the ruler*8 
feats and exploits in his own eyes. Its acceptauce by the native 
peoples (which was not lacking until recently) makes their 
lot seem inevitable even to themaelves. Consequently, os is the 
ease in America today, groups low in the hierarchical scale try 
to approximate tlie position of the ones at the top and accept 
the rest of the hierar^y iutacU This has been the fate of peoples 
low in the scale in powerful empires. Downtrodden people in 
stable times received their honors and positions from the group 
at the top or from their real or fancied approaches to the top. 
It would make a fascinating psychologic^ study to trace indi- 
viduals as tliey move upwara in their tireless efforts to be 
“accepted” — in colleges, clubs, neighborhoods, and other en- 
vironments of social distinctiou. 

The most elaborate “ race ** superiority doctrines are preduots 
of already existing organizations of superiority-inferiority rela- 
tionsliips and exploitations, The supei-iority doctrines have 
been Uie deliberate or unconscious standardizations of the 
powerful and prosperous groups at the top and not the ideas 
of the frustrated and deprived majority at tlie bottom. Once 
established, sucli superiority doctrines find deft supporters in 
the social setting— scholars and philosophers who give them 
an air of respectability by impassive-appearing formulations. 
As 'Winspear points out, Plato's social philosophy is. such, an 



844 An Outline of Social Psychology 

edifice; its origins lay in the social conditions of Greece at the 
time.® 

Apologies for superiority are formulated in the philosophicali 
literary, scientific vernacular of the times. ^ For example, 
Aristotle explained the superiority of the Grcelcs ovei* o&er 
peoples on the basis of the uniqueness of the geography of 
Greece. We find similar accoimts of their own superiority by 
Homan and Arab writers. Jean Bodiu tried to support his un- 
questioning assumption of the miperiority of the £\'ench in the 
sixteentli centui'y on tlie basis of tlie particular effects of asti'o- 
logical forces on France. After the conquest of parts of America, 
Spanish writers like Sepulveda and Quevido wrote apologies 
for the bloody treatment meted out to the Indians which were 
based on the inherent superiority of the Spanish. We have al- 
ready mentioned the myth of the "white man’s burden” during 
the great expansion of and exploitation by the British Empire. 
Superiority doctrines reached their worst proportions in the 
"Aryan” mastei'-race cult of Hitlep*s Germany. The myth of 
the biologioolly non-existent "Aryan” race became the means 
by which tlie quest for world domination was justified by men in 
politics, ecouomica, philosophy, and even biology* tUl of whom 
succumbed to the spell of the groat plan, of course with social 
and economic otlvanloges to themselves. The work of biol- 
ogists (e<g., Huxley’s Ps Euro^oana) indicates once and for all 
that doctimes of race superiority and race purity have no basis 
at all in biology or genetics. 

The United States, in spite of its highly mixed racial and 
ethnic composition, has its standai'dized mytliiool superiority- 
inferiority scale. This has found outright expression in such 
works os Madison Grant’s The Passing of tks Cfrsat Raee and 
Conquest of a Continent. The second-hand anthropological 
speculations advanced in such worlcs fade away when viewed 
in the light of serious studies in the field.® 

The above illustrations force upon us a general conclusion. 

0 A. D. Winapeor, The Otneria (if Plato' i THoueM, Now Yotk: Prydoti Prera, 1040. 

^ A brief survoy of such auperiority dootrloos is given in 0. Klincberg, Race 
enee»t Harper. 1030. The illuatrations here are token from Kluiebecg. 

^ Sooi for example, A. Gbrdlioka, Th» Old Boltimore, Williams and 

Wilkins, loss. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 846 

In societies in which inter- and intra-group relationships are 
based on political and economic power and ai*e not integrated 
and planned, there necessarily arises a scale of social distances 
which become incorporated in the individual membei's. The 
prejudice thus created becomes intricate and effective in pro- 
portion to the rising economic and political power of the group 
in question. In every instance above, the superiority doctrines 
appeared and became standardized at the peak of the develop- 
ment of the specific social organization. Perhaps this will con- 
tinue to be the tendency until societies are integrated and based 
on the findings of science (biological and human). 

Tho UbuoI Sooial Distance Scale In the United States 

Of course on established scale of social distances &om various 
groups is not unique to the United States. Every national group 
has its own. However, to date investigations of social distance 
have been, more numerous and comprehensive in the United 
States than in otlier countries^ 

The general picture of social distance for various national 
and ethnic groups in the United Stated is remarkably consis- 
tcnt.° Near the top of tho scale come Americans, Canadians, 
English. Then follow the Prench, Norwegians, Germans, 
Swedish, and other Northern Europeans. Lower come the 
Southern Europeans — the Italians, Spanish, Portuguese. Jews 
are still lowei* on the scale, and neai* the bottom are Negroes, 
Turks, Chinese, Hindus. Of course, the specific rank of one 
group on tlie scale may vory— some people may rank the 
Hindu higher titan the Turk and some the 'Purk higher than 
the Hindu, but both ore near the bottom of the '^aJe, thus 
representing the greatest social distance. Support for this gen- 
eral finding comes from several studies over a period of years. 
.For example, Guilford's analysis (by "paired compariBon’O.of 
the Bomal distance scales of college students from various pau’ts 
of the country in 10 S 8 gives this picture. The responses of 
students in such diverse parts of the country as Florida, New 
York, Illincus, Kansas, Nebraska, and Washington correlated 

^ Thu seoUon is based in gonersl upon fcbs sutbontativ6 review of the literaturtt up 
to 1044 by Or. Euema oud upon a eummiuy personally commimlcated by 

him. See Horowitfc ”'Iloc6', Attitudes,*' pp. 14HWB. - 



846 An Outline of Social Psychology 

highly, with coeiHcients ranging &om .84 to .00.^^ Similar 
agreement ia shown by students preparing for dKferent profes- 
sions. Thus, in Allport and Katz* extensive study (1081), it 
was found that ** Whetlier we took engineering students, Liberal 
Arts students, Pine Arts students, or graduate students, men 
or women, fraternity members or neuti'ols, tlie relative aver- 
sion to these racial and group stereotypes was eveiywhere the 
same.” “ 

Meltzer found correlations ranging from .84S to .048 for the 
social distance scales of children in low, middle, and high 
economic classes in St. Louis. 'Hie preferences of tiiese school 
childi'en were very similar to those of college students. The 
scale was found to be similar for Jewish, Catholic, and Prot- 
estant children^ Negroes and Whites: rural and urban chil- 
dren.^® 

Zeligs and Hendrickson found that the group preference of 
Jewish and non-Jewiah children correlated positively, with a 
Pearson coefficient of ,87.“ Hartley found very high cowela- 
tion coefficients between tlie “pattenia of preference** for 35 
groups displayed by students in such diueront collets as 
Bennington, Columbia, Howard (a Negro university), Prince- 
ton, and the City College of New York.“ The scale of these 
college students in 1988 was found to be signihcantly correlated 
with tliat of students in 1928 as measured by Bogardus. 

Similarly, the stereotypes related to 10 groups by Princeton 
students and Negro college students have been found to bo 
closely similar.'® Of couroe the scale of social distance ia not 
identical for the majority gre^s and for tlio oppressed mi- 
norities. Meltzer, Zeligs and Sraidrickson, and Hartley have 

J. P. Guilford, Social preferenees of o tbouwnd Ao^rlcan unlvarsity studonta, 
). 3m. Ptsehd., 1031. S, 170-404. 

F. H. Allport and D. Kntz, 3tudmU' Auitudef, Syroeuw: Crofttmon PresB, 1091, 
p. 840. 

H. Afcltsser, Group differcncos ia natboollty and roco proforoncoa of oliildron, 
tSoofomairr, 10S9, 8, 80-109. 

** B. Sbliga and Q. I’lcndrickaoiii Badal attitudes of 800 sixtli-grodo ohiidron, 
SmioI. a Soo. liea„ 10S3-84, 18, 20^0. 

^ Hartley, op. oU, 

** See D. Kata and K. Braly, Uncial atereotypcB of mie-huudred college students, 
J.Alm. <0 Soo. Ps^Aof., 1938, 8^860-800; anrlJ. A. Bayton, Tlie racial storootypca of 
Negro college students. /. Abn. A Sm. Psychol., 1041, 80, 97-108, 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 

found that tliei'e is a tendency for the minority group membera 
to maintain the essential established scolei but to move their 
own group from its low position to n place at the top. This indi- 
cates that the scale is deteiunined first by their ego-involvement 
as members of their own special group within the general 
picture of tlieir country* and then os Americans. 

This finding of a generally established scale of social dis- 
tance at which vaidous national and ethnic groups in the 
United States are held* is suffiment in itself to sho>7 that de- 
grees of contaol with members of the given groups has little to 
do with the established relative positions on the scale. Indi- 
viduals in Florida* New York, Illinois* Washington* Vermont 
surely have veiy different opportunities for contact with 
Negroes* for example; yet the social distance scale is highly 
similar in those states* revealing an established scale for the 
United Slates. Katz and Braly found that students assigned 
''typical traits'^ to 10 ethnic groups with remarkable con- 
sistency even in the case of groups personally unknown to the 
students. Horowitz found that mieer amount of contact with 
Negroes had no observable effect on the amount of prejudice 
displayed toward Negroes. Children in an all-whitp school and 
in a mixed school in New York City* and in schools in urban 
Tennessee and urban and rui'al Georgia gave remarkably 
similar reactions toward Negroes.*® 

Likewise* tliei'e seems little general relationship between in- 
formation and acceptance of the established social distance 
scale. Murphy and Likert found low positive correlations be- 
tween scores on a general information test and attitude scores 
toward Negroes. However, further investigation showed that 
these correlations resulted from the "graatei' scholarlinesa ” of 
the " radical ” students, who tended to reject prejudices toward 
Negroes* rather tlinn a cause and effect relation between infer; 
mation and freedom from prejudice.*’ Hartley demonstrated 
this fact neatly by including three non-existent groups (the 
Danireans, Piroiiians* and Walloniana) of which the subjects 
could have had no knowledge, on the list of actual groups. 


“ HorovUti. Tli« development of ottitudes townrd the N$gro, 07. eil. 
V Mwphy and lAkett* op. eft.* pp> ISl-rlSZ. 



S48 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

The i*esult was correlations from .78 to .85 between the average 
social distance for these groups and the average social distance 
for the actual groups.” 

It would seem too that favorable contact wit!) or informa* 
tion shout individuaL members of a group held at considerable 
social distance produces little effect on the position of that 
group on the scale. Kather such individuals arc considered 
‘‘exceptions ** to the generally accepted stereotypes concerning 
their group. This come out in Horowitz* early study on the de* 
vclopment of attitudes toward Negroes. When members of a 
minority group accept tlie general frame of the majority con- 
cerning their gi'oup, they may consider themselves or their 
particular group as exceptions. This is evidenced in Meenes* 
study of the 8iereot3rpea of N^ro students. The stereotypes 
assigned to their own group (Negro) were generally unfavor- 
able (e.g., superstitiousi happy-go-lucky^ ]oud, lazy). But when 
asked whether they had in mind Negroes like themselves when 
they assigned the stereotypes, they “ all siud they had described 
‘Negroes in general.’ Once a general frame is accepted, 
there is a tendency to evaluate specific items in terms of it. 
And those which do not fit ccaily into the frame (in this cos^ 
one’s self) are considered exceptions to tlie general rule. 

Nor does similoi’ity in taste among members of socially 
distant groups have much effect in eliminating social distance. 
We observed a scene during World War 11 which illustrates 
this point. The Turkish government, os a neutral, was doing 
its best to entertain impartially the legations of the United 
Nations and tlie Axis powera. One evening, the Bidtish and 
German embassies had been given corresponding boxes on the 
opposite sides of the auditorium at a concert. As the artist 
played Beetlioven’s “ Moonli^t Sonata,” two atti'active girls, 
one in the German box and one in the British, listened with 
bowed heads and closed eyes in communion with the, music. 
But the harmony of this uplifting experience certainly had no 
effect on their activities the following day as active units in 
the embassies of two hostile countries. This point is furtlier 

Hartley, op. eit,, p. S7. 

M. Meenea, A comparlaon o( raelal atoreotypes of 108$ and 104S, /. Soc, 
aPS8i Bull., 1040, 17, szr-sso. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 349 

illustrated by the intense hostility between the Chinese and 
Japanese in spite of similarities in cultm^ol tastes. 

Muiphy and Likert found that the general level of social 
distance at which othei* national and ethnic groups 01*0 held is 
"strikingly correlated” with radicalism, and further related to 
a general dissatisfaction with “ the whole social scene.” *0 It 
was the “ dissenters ” who tended to reject the established social 
distances. Similai-ly, in Horowitz* study of attitudes toward 
Negroes rcfen*ed to above, the one group of children who 
showed "no apparent prejudice against the Negro** was a 
group whose parents were Gommuniat and who participated in 
a recreational program under the auspices of Communists — a 
group whicli has rejected the established social distance scales. 

Slight regional dilfcrences in the scale of social distance in 
the United States are found — today, for instance, Japanese 
may be riuilced lower on the West coast than in the East. In 
general, however, the pattern tends to be highly similar with 
somewhat different acta of beliefs and value judgments con> 
corning tlie specido groups in different regions. While Negroes 
are low in the scale in all parts of the United Stotes, the ascribed 
characteristics or beliefs relating to ** their place ** differ in the 
Soutli and the North." These views are often accepted by the 
members of the oppressed groups. Kay found considerable dls- 
agreement between diffei'ent groups of Jews and non-Jews as 
to what constituted anti-Semitism. The question she posed 
illustrates this problem nicely: "Is it pro-Semitic (or pro- 
Negro) to remove barriers of economic discrimination but 
'allow* the group to 'protect* its cultural differences by ap- 
proving social segregation? Some Jews, and Negroes, and 
’intercultxiral educators’ would say yes, To ‘Others that js 
basically a modified *anti’ point of view and the reiil test of 
being ' pro * is willingness to completely assimilate the minority 
groups.” It seems sole to generalize that as long as the soci^ 
distance scale is kept intact, the paiticulor set of beliefs and, 

» Murphy and Likert, op. oU. 

» See, for example, Merton, Fact imd Factltioumev in ethnic opinlonnairci, 
Amer. SooioU Rev., 1010, 1, 

** L. W. Kay, l^ame reference iu **pro'* nnd evclnatlona of teat iten^ 

Soo. Pryoftof., 1047, 8ff. OS-08. 



360 An Outline of Social Psychology 

stereotypes concerning the out-group and their station in life 
will Iwgely reflect the norma of flie in-group in question* which 
in some degree keep the out-group “in its place.“ 

’ Quite clinereut social distance scales ore found in otlier 
countries. For example* Lapiere found very little projudice 
against Negroes among the French (especially the middle and 
lower classes).*^ Striking differences from the scale in the 
United States have been observed in Sotitli American countries* 
e.g.* Brazil. Apparently the social distance scale in Italy differs 
from that of the United States — at least the “majority** of 
Negro troops stationed there in ld47 dreaded to leave for the 
United States because they hod not been discriminated against 
by the Italians." To bring the point home* let ua examine 
the picture of Americans prevalent today in England* a coun- 
try comparatively close to the United States in terms of 
language and culture. In reporting the results of a survey*" 
Mass-Observation concluded: “A great many people have 
fundamentally the same idea of what the American is like** 
(p. 06). The central conception in the Britisli picture is “the 
American who does not ffrow up.** This stereotype may bo 
favorable or unfavorable. If the person likes Americans* he 
ascribes the pleasant qualities of youth and childhood to them. 
But “unfavorable views of the Americans have. steadily in- 
creased over the past year ** (p. 98). These views emphasize the 
less pleasant features of adolescence.*’ Although one might 
expect the G.I.’s in Britain during the war to have modified 
tliese views, “ in fact, the American soldier appears to have had 
relatively little effect on them” (p. OT), In closing, Moss- 
Observation notes that attitudes toward the G.I. “ were often 
close to tliose shown toward Jews by anti-Semites* who will 
specifically excuse from their antagonisms Jews they know 
(ond like) as individuals** (p, 98). 

As tl\e above survey indicates* social distance scales arc not 
rigidly static. Th^ do change, and undei* some conditions 
they breaJe down entirely. An autliority on the caste system 

** B. T. Lapiere, Ilace preju<l>ce: Fraacc and ISngiand. Soo. Poms, 1020, 7. lOS-llL 
** Baportod is the Nsw iVh Hsrcfd Trilwno, Jaly 9, 1047. 

" Moss-Observation, Portrait of nn amcricau? InUr, J, Opin. di AtUl. Asv.* 1047, 
1, 90-08. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 851 

in India has found that there “caste distinctions .. .in- 
variably break down undei* the leveling influences of city and 
factory life.” ” There seems to,be no indication of a breakdown 
of the established social distances in Amei'ica; however, there 
are changes and sliifta in the scale with the impact of events. 
Meenes secured tlie stereotypes of Negro college students 
for 10 etlinic groups in 10S5 and again in 104S. The basic 
stereotypes were in significant agreement for all groups except 
tlie German, Japanese, and CSiinese.*^ Since the groups of sub- 
jects were simitar in both studies, we may assume that the 
changes were chiefly tlie result of the war with the Axis pow- 
ers. “The 194S stereotype of the Germans was much like that 
of 1935 except for the appearance of revengeful, cruel, and 
treticherous, in the 1048 picture'* (p. 386). The most striking 
clionge was evident for the Japanese, who were wdl thought 
of in 1935, whci'eos in 1948, tlie picture was exceedingly un- 
complimentary. The stereotype of Chinese, on the other hand, 
became increasingly favorable. Whether or not these shifts 
are temporary, tlie result of tlie momentous events of the war, 
or are of a lasting nature remains to be seen. A follow-up of 
such shifts would bo interesting for social psychology.- 

The Individual and the Social Dlstonce Seolo 

In order to handle the problems of social distance psycho- 
logically we must inquire into the origins of the individual’s 
scale of social distance. Prom the foregoing material it becomes 
obvious that the scale is learned. Equally obvious is the fact 
that individuals do not form a social distance scale priiharily 
on tlie basis of contact with the groups in question. As Horo- 
witz concluded in his , study of the development of attitudes 
toward tixe Negro, “ attitudes toward Negroes are now .chiefly 
determined not by contact with Negroes, but by contact With 
the prevalent attitude toward Negroes ” (p. 85). . 

As we have seen, the child is born into a soeiety in which 
social norms already exist as the result of previous interactions 
of the group in its distinct set of historical cii*cumstances. 

* n, Ambodkar, quoted in May IS, 1047, p. 40. 

” Mcenos, op. oil. 



35S An Outline of Social Psycliology 

All aspects of tlie cliild*3 development—liis total dependence on 
adults for the satisfaction of his needs, his gradual maturation 
in a specific social setting — ^lead to the necessity of following the 
mandates of the established group, whatever it may be* 

Both Lasker’s eoidy study and tlie quantitative investigation 
by Horowitz reveal the early appearance of discriminations 
made on the basis of group membei'ship.^ Even the kinder* 
gaiten children studied by Horowitz revealed a negative atti- 
tude toward Negroes. As Jersiid has commented, sucli delinea- 
tions may have their inception merely in tlie fact that the 
family with whom the whole well-being of tlie cliild is so closely 
bound makes it dear that they belong to such and such a 
group, But surely more often tlie child forms his attitudes 
toward various groups from the statements of his grownups pre- 
fia'ibing what a “ nice ” boy or girl is and does. This came out in 
the study of the development of attitudes by Horowitz and 
Horowitz.?'* Especially the children below the Ihird grade freely 
acknowledged tliat the reason th^ chose white children to 
Negro ciiildren in social situations was because their parents 
told them to. As one child said: **Mamina tells me not to play 
with black children, keep away from tliem Momma tells me, she 
told me not to play with them. Black (Why not?) Motlier don’t 
Want mo to ” (p, 388), 

Young children’s attitudes toward various groups tend, how- 
ever, to be ratlier unintegrated aspects of their psychological 
make-up. This is indicated by the low iutoreorrektions be- 
tween testa of preference found by Meltzei',®^ and Horowitz* find- 
ings of lower jntercorrelations between tests of attitude toward 
Negroes in younger children. As a result, children sometimes 
respond in an ” inconsistent ” way. Tlie following observation 
related by a sociologist from Arlconsas illustrates the point. A 
little girl was told by lier mother to call older women “ladies,” 
One day the little girl answered the door and then ran to her 
mothei* saying tliat a lady wanted to see her. Her mother went 

** B. I^takeTi Raa« AlHlndot in Children, New York: Holti IDSOj HorowitSi Tlio 
dovolopnicnt of attitudes toward Negroos, op. oit. 

** A. T. Jersiid, GhUd PaptMogp, New York: Prentlco-nall, 1940. 

*0 E. llorowits and B. Hbrowltx, Development of social attltudoi in ohildront 
BwwmtifUi 1087, 1, 801-838. 

** Moltser, op. oif, 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 353 

to the door and when she returned she said. "That waan*t a 
lady, dear. That was a Negro. You mustn't call Negroea 
‘ladies.*” 

All of this is in line with what we have learned about the 
development of the ego (pp. «52-208). The young child, having 
as yet no clearly formed identity, reacts toward other groups 
and people as he must in order to win praise and escape nim- 
ishment from his paa-ents. The Horowitzea found that the most 
frequent cause of punishment in the community they studied 
was for playing with Negi-o children. Thei-e seems to be every 
reason for considering tlie development of attitudes of preju- 
dice, formed chi^y in i*eIation to the social norms prescribing 
relative social distances, as one aspect of the development of 
the ego. Por the ego is simply a constellation of attitudes relat- 
ing ourselvefl to the persons, objects, and groups around us. 

This concept of the formation of attitudes toward one's own 
and other gioups “as in intrinsic osipect pf ego development'* 
was clearly substantiated by Ruth Horowitz.” Pictures of 
Negro and white children were presented to a group of pre- 
school cliildren (Negro and white). A child wos asked to ^ow 
which child in die picture was himself. Horowitz found, t^t 
clioices were made m teims of color by some of the childreni 
pnvticului’ly tlie Negro children. For these Negro preschool 
children, "tlie contrast there presented is a lesson well learned 
and perceived immediately in terms of its pertinent elements.*! 
However, tlie unintograted notiu'e of these youngsters* atti- 
tudes shows clearly in the reaction of the oldest white girl in 
the group " who had expressed advanced and well crystallized, 
prejudice against Negroes. ” In one picture, she chose the Negro 
girl .“because the latter had curls and she, too, had curls which 
were her glory ond pride. Although accurately perceiving the 
racial nature of all tlie other pictures^ she denied that this one 
wan of a Negro child.” “ 

Continuing this line of research with Negro children, K. 3. 
and M. K. Clark found increasing identification in terms of 

** U. K. Ilorowits, Uadal upeeb of self-idcntificatlon' in nurseiT' school cbildron, 
J, Psuchol,, iqso. 7, 01-00. 

** U. E. Horowite, K pi^orlnl method for study df selMdoh^flcatlon In nroMhool 
children, .7. PsyoAdf,, 104S| 6^ 180 - 148 , ' ' ' 4 , 



854 An Outline of Social Psychology 

GoloT with age ” By observing the reactions of Negro children 
with different skin coloring (lights medium, dai*k), they found 
that an awoi'onesa of one’s self os different from others on the 
basis of perceptible skin color comes first.**^ Thsae **oonorBte 
physical ofiaraoteriaHcs qf perGBived selj'* m'B modified by social 
definiUofts of difforenoea heiween ihe Negro and white groups. 
In the case of Negro children, such social definitions seem to 
affect the developing ego very eai’ly. The consequence of the 
conflict resulting from an unfavorable social definition of one’s 
own characteristics is revealed in the Clarks’ findings. Whereas 
the children increasingly made ** correct” identifications with 
age, 67 per cent of the S-year-olds said the brown child was had 
and 68 per cent s(ud the white child had a nico color. These 
results held true in both segregated schools in the South and 
mixed schools in the North, 

The formation of attitudes toward various groups as pre- 
scribed by social norms regulating tlmir relative positions in the 
society is, then, one aspect of ego development. On tl\e basis 
of what we have learned about ego formation and the relative 
inconsistency of a young child’s behavior towaiYl out-group 
members and symbols, it seems likely that tliese nonus do not 
become an integrated part of his identity until he has grasped 
the reciprocity of interpersonal actions and can payohologically 
become a member of a group. This would seem to be tlie implica- 
tion of the Horowitz’ finding that the reasons given by young 
children for negative response towaz’d Negroes \m '0 chi^y in 
terms of similarities and differences, whereas the older children 
(grades 3 and 4) admowledged social pressures. Examples of 
correctives applied by the cluld’s group are found in Zeligs and 
Hendrickson’s study. As one child said.* If you even try to be 
sociable with Negroes the rest of the people lift up their tye- 
browB and say, * Aw— that’s awful.' I represent a room in safety 
council which has many Negroes. They say their safety laws to 

^ K. B* Clark and M, K. Clork, 'Xlio dovolopmcnt of oonadouaDeai of self and Uie 
emorgenco of nuHal idonbiflcatlou in Negro proachool cliiMron. J, 8oe, Ptyokol,, 1030, 
10, SOl-fiOO. 

K, P. Clark and M. K. Clark, Skin color ns o factor in racial Idoati&cntton of 
Negro preschool children, J, Soo, Payckol>, 1010, ll. lOO-'IOO. 

** An unpublished study kindly made available by the Clarks, 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 855 

me. I meet them in the hall I say hello to them. All the 
other children look at me like it would be a crime to be sociable 
with them.” 

When the children become participating, members of their 
group, when their identities ore formed to the level of grasping 
reciprocal interaction, the social norms become their own norms 
of behavior. Then, as Kat* and Broly, and Horowitz point 
out, they forget the role of thdr parents and other ngeUts in 
transmitting the norms* and claim them as their own. Ihen 
the norma of social distances become ego-distances in the psy- 
chology of tlie individual. 

And of course, other groups of the community have this role 
in transmitting norms of social distance. An incident which 
occurred in Maine illustrates how such groups may crystallize 
prejudice even against people imknown to the childmn. In the 
summer of 1030, a Turkish university student spent his vaca- 
tion in a small New England town. He became acquainted with 
a group of small boys who eagerly sought occasions to play 
with him and liked him so much that tliey called him *‘uncle.*^ 
One Sunday, a revivalist preached in their Sunday School to 
raise some money and painted a dreadful picture of the bar- 
barity of the troaclierous, heathen Turk*’ mom the Crusades to 
the present. Afterward the boys came to their friend and told 
him about the sermon with enthusiasm and zeal. ^'Oh, boy, 

Uncle ” they said. ‘‘We'll just kill those Turks. We'll just 

kick them down.” 

Once A part of the ego constellation, attitudes of prejudice 
are factors that regulate b^ovior in siinaiions i^at^ to 
socially distant groups or individual meinbei's thereof. In some 
situations, other factors— e.g., the desire to make money, the 
urgent pressure of hunger or sexual deprivation, loyalty to' other 
values— may tolce precedeuce in dotermining the reaction. 
To understand the specific individual's reaction in a prejudice- 
related situation, we must know something of his vm'ioiw ego- 
attitudes Olid identifications, and their organization in his 
psychological make-up. 

" B. Zeligs nnd G. Hendriduon, Cbccklng tlie aodnl dlstiOicQ tediai^U9 throtigh 

pewoHRl interview, 5 m. 1089--94, 18, 4SO-4SO. . 



S66 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Psychological I^eade Suggested by the Foregoing Material 

The findings concerning the social distance (prejudice) scale 
and its genetic dctvelopment in the individual givo us crucial 
leads for conceptualization. It is safe to assume that every 
society has its own standardized scale of social distances, and 
that a social distance scale reflects, in its major features, tlie 
hierarchical arrangements of the socio-economic orgimization. 
Thus in the Unit^ States, we find a more or leas well-estab- 
lished scale of social distance wliicli is standardized for the 
country, except Cor some variatious here and there. This scale 
is certainly the historical product of tlie socio-economic struc- 
ture. Once such a scale of hutnon relationships and correspond- 
ing attitudes comes into existence, it cuts across objective 
class lines, social standing, and occupational standing, Even 
groups diacriminate<I against, as we have seen, reflect the 
eatablislied scale of prejudice with displacement of tlieir own 
particular group. This means that they reject discrimination 
only in the case of their o\m group, but keep intact the rest 
of the scale of prejudice. In other words, all conforming groups 
in the United States, the majority and minority (stemming 
from different etlmio, religious, and racial boclcgrounds), 
reveal a similar scale of prejudice with minor displacements. 
This fact, substantiated by concrete genetic studies, suggests 
that a social distance scale is built on the basis of prevailing 
values in the society and not on the basis of the experiences of 
the individuals themselves with the groups in question. In 
short, this geuerally established social distance seme seems to 
be an American institution almost like Thanksgiving. All the 
respectable members of society, all tho corrforming Americans 
seem to abide by the scale. Specific contacts and information 
concerning the groups in question are minor factors in deter- 
mining the social distance scale of the aonforming individud. 
On the other hand, those who are diasati^ed with things os 
they ajre (the socio-economic setup and the existing social 
norma) — ^in short, the radicals (the di8senters)^do not accept 
the prevailing prejudice scale. They exhibit the least preju- 
dice, perhaps in proportion to the degree of their radicalism. 
We should say lhat pei-sonal readmg habits, whiii seem to 



Social Distance (Pi’ejudice) 867 

have an effect on the indivMual*s prejudice scale, ore not an 
isolated influence. It may be put as a hypothesis that the hind 
of reading material which is conducive to reducing prejudice 
is materi^ of a non-conformist nature. 

lyiiiking togethei* the , conclusions reached concerning the 
products of group interaction and Iheir subsequent effects on 
the individuid, the genetic devdopment and functioning of. the 
ego, and tlie major line, of findings on social distance, we 
may find substantial truth in the following summary formu- 
lation of Uie psychology of prejudice. A “we" and "they" 
delineation is one of the main products of group formation — 
with positive values becoming invested within the " t^e ” former 
tion, tlio “ we " including the members of the group (small or 
largo). The “ we” thus circumscribed has real or fancied quali- 
ties and values to be upheld and chci'ished dearly. Any offenses 
from without and deviations from within are reacted to with 
appropriate con'cctive, defensive and. at times offensive meas- 
ures. ’^They,” from the point of view of the group with aU 
its survival, vivlues, ore invested with a set of values*, “traits," 
(favorable, unfavorable, or various combinations. thereoO. 
The favorable or uufavorablo properties or “traits ** attributed 
to “ they “ groups, and, inevitab^, to their individuid membem 
in a ratiier absolutistic way, are determined by the nature of 
positive or negative relatipna between the groups in question. 
If the interests, direction, and goals of the intergroup relations 
ore integrated or in hoimony the features attributed to " they " 
groups ore favorable. H the activities and views clash while 
the interacting groups piirsiue their peculiar interests and goals, 
the features attributed are negative. We see in the cooperating 
or conflicting intergroup relationships of sn^ gong foimations 
the manifestations in miniature of the rise of " we ” and “ they " 
delineations and the positive and negative attitudes .that go 
witix tliem (pp. 126-138). For example, if . a gmig happens, to 
operate in the territory considered "ours“ by onotiiei' gang, the 
result is a clasli and the application of unflattering adjectives 
to the first group and its members. Such an invasioiv is “ in- 
decent" and, against the code. Even in these spontaneously, 
formed littie groups,, feuds and corresponding negative' atti- 
tudes arise wlut^ in time to become stEuidarcQ^,'if .the 



3^8 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


gongs last. This appeared in the experimental study by Lewin 
and his associates (pp. 119-lSO). Once groups of boys were 
more or less delineated in their “democratic” and “iowscs- 
faiTO*’ atmospheres^ without any inidgration of ifte groupSt in- 
sulting words were hurled spontaneously at members of the 
opposite group and fights broke out. The members of the 
“democratic” group did not stop to resolve the friction by 
democratic methods. Democratic procedure was something 
to be practiced among themselves (the in-group) in making 
masks. 

Kven these simple illustrations lead us to the generalization 
that positive or negative attitudes in intergroup relationships 
are the outcome of integration or lack of integration of the 
interests, goals, and the resulting views of the groups in ques- 
tion. Once in-group” and “out-group” delineations take 
place, attitudes necessarily arise that define the reciprocal posi- 
tions of the groups. If one group takes the stand that the other 
group is in its way, interferes with its goals and vital inter- 
ests. or should be working for its interests, all sorts of “traits” 
oi'e attributed as inherent qu^ities of the out-group to justify 
the stand taken, and the existing or contemplated actions. 
All racial superiority doctrines are, deliberately or uncon- 
sciously, justifications of this sort. The attributed inherent 
“traits^* are labels standardized to perpetuate certain prac- 
tices advantageous to the intei'ests of the dominant group. 

A great many members of the groups to whom ore attributed 
certain “traits” to justify their low position come to accept, 
in time, stereotyped characterizations of themselves. This 
was evident in the acceptance by N^roes of at least some of the 
features attributed to them by the existing social organiza- 
tion. It also leads them to accept their position os inevitable, 
and to serve their masters willin^y. Any comfort or status they 
may attain they expect to be bestowed by the gentlemen or 
ladies they serve. 

Closely connected with this is the fact that once a certain 
social distance scale, with “traits” attributed to each group 
on it, becomes standardized, it tends to continue as a result 
of psychological inertia and the active efforts of the inter- 
ested groups. We do not and cannot every so often manufacture 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 359 

anew our personal identity in relation to others and the stabil- 
ity of our groups^ This inertia is necessarily strengthened by the 
fact that we want to stay good members of our group. A voung 
lady who went back to Alabama in the summer of 1047 with 
more liberal views toward Negroes soon had to fall in line 
in her social contacts with old friends because of the various 
correctives that were applied. The politicians and liberals who 
during World War II really wanted to arouse a favorable 
attitude toward the Russian people among Americana* who 
had been consistently exposed- to the picture of a Boliievik 
as a man stained in blood and carrying a bomb* Lad to resort 
to the usual stereotypes of the American political scene — a 
church service on almost every corner attended by pious 
people, child kissing, etc. 

The idea of social distance which people have and which 
defines their position in relation to other groups is not built up 
on the basis of factual experiences or objective knowledge. 
It is a necessary derivative of die individud's membership in 
his group. This result is best shown in the genetic studies of the 
Horowitzes and the Clarks (pp. S52-354). Their finding is con- 
cretely substantiated by the high degree of prejudice that 
conformist church members exhibit — church members who hear 
week in and week out that all men are equal in the eyes of God 
and that it is a great virtue to love your enemy. Ihe mani- 
festation of greater prejudice on the part of more regular 
church attendants is reportwi in the sur^y of relevant studies 
by Horowitz, and it appeared in G. W. Allport and Eramer's 
recent study on prejudice.’* This line of findings, which. is full 
of implications for collective psychology and the psychology 
of the personal identity of the individud members in “closed^^* 
social groups, was evident more recently in ‘*b survey made in 
the American zone of Germany by the Information Control 
Division of the American Military Government.” We quote 
from a newspaper report of this survey: “The study, bused on 
interviews with 3,415 persona selected as a cross-section of the 
American zone and the American section* of Berlin, showed the 
following: Women ore ^markedly more biased’ against Jews 

■ G, W. Allport and Bt M. Erameri Some roots of prejudico, / . P^ehd., ipiO, 82 , 
0 - 80 . 



860 An Outline of Social Psychology 

than men. Small town people are more prejudiced than those 
of the large cities. Prejudice Is greater among people with a 
lower status in society (those with the least education and those 
with unspecialized jobs). Proiesianta Und to be more biased than 
Caikolics. Those who attend church regularly are mare prejudiced 
than those who attend irregularly** 

It seems that if a group standardizes a prejudice scabi put< 
ting itself at the top and estabhshing contemptuous prejudice 
patterns in relation to other groups and their allegedly inherent 
unfavorable qualities, this scale becomes a gener^ized attitude 
of prejudice toward any people that sound unfamiliar, even 
though absolutely nothing is hnown about them. Such a 
generalized pattern of prejudice seems to be at work in the 
United States today, for example. This came out concretely in 
Hartley’s investigation. As we have seen, Hartley included 
three non-existent groups among those to be ordered by the 
subjects in terms of their social distance hierarchy. The strik- 
ing result was that conservative groups (Howard and Piince- 
ton students in the study) who consistently showed a rather 
high degree of prejudice, put these non-existent groups low 
on their social distance scale. The progressive groups (Ben- 
nington and a liberal section at City College) accepted them 
in rather close proximity— on the average beyond the degree 
implied in the statement **To my school os classmates.”^® 
These findings led Hartley to advance the hypothesis *'that 
such tolerance represents to a significant extent a function 
of the persons responding, rather than of the groups responded 
to.” This we t(^e to mean that on in-group which definitely 
classifies out-groups along on immistakable scale of social dis- 
tance develops at the some time a general tendency of preju- 
dice toward others even though they may have not a single 
item of information concerning them. 

New York Herald Tribune, Sunday. May 4, 1047 Otolics mine). 

^ Wo know from Neveonib*a eztenslvo study of tbe attitudes of those Bennington 
students (see Chapter 6) that soma of them dung to the conservatism of their bat^- 
grounds ood regulated themselves accordiogly. isolating themselves from the liberal 
college atmoaphoro. If the results obtained from these students were 8q>arated from 
the others, we think that thmr rating of the noQ'ezistent groups would have been W, 
as was tbe case with other conservative groups. 

Hartley, op. eit., p. 26. 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 361 

Prejudice studies, too, will gain meaning if tkey are related 
to the substantive mode of mentality still prevalent not only 
among the more backward peoples, but in the great mass of 
conforming respectability of what is caUed " Western Civiliza. 
tion." By substantive mode of mentality we mean the tendency 
to ecco^^t for or desmibe events (social and otherwise) in terms 
of the "essence'^ of things instead of in terms of related proc- 
esses. The great mass of bourgeois respectability sliows a 
tendency to deal with human and social events in terms of an 
eternal "human nature,** qualities inherent in this or 
group. It is expressed in the fom, "What can you exptoi from 
a man cwming from such a family?” During a war, the enemy 
nation is denounced in terms of inherent, immutable char- 
acteristics, For example, we were told that the Japanese are 
triclqr and sly by nature^ the Italians are inherently an easy- 
^ing, tallmtive bunch who spend most of their time sing- 
ing operas in the street, This unscientific substantive mentality 
is clearly indicated in the Middletown attitudes concerning 
masculine and feminine characteristica." In spite of the fact 
that the feminine and masculine roles and statuses have actu- 
ally undergone considerable changes in the United States 
since the Revolution, the prevailing conceptions of men and 
women are held to be inkerenU immutable qualities of the sexes. 
Popular attitudes in the human and social fields have not gone 
beyond the prescientific stage on the whole, in spite of the 
wonderful advances in the physical sciences and technological 
fields which ore almost universally accepted. For example, 
when something goes wrong with his cor, the resident of Mid- 
dletown really wants to learn the. cause of the defect; this is a 
case of applying the "process mentality** of science as opposed 
to Vsubstantive meutality.H « 

Possibly this substantive mentality will crnitinue until socic' 
ties come to accept the process mentality in human, and social 
fields too. The remedy for the prescientific substantlve outlook 

See B. Lyod and H> M. lornd, Middltlmm in Trann'Oen, New York: Borconrt:, 
Brace, 1087, iip. 170 f. ^ 

^ A book on social psychology is not the place to trace the origins (rf this substantive 
tnentality in eertdn aspects of Greek phiioic^hy, in thoim, and in wrious idealistio 
philoso^isB of the Inst centu^. , 



36S An Outline of Social Psychology 

lies in the acceptance and application of the process analysis 
of the scientific approach. When this is done, such generally 
denounced phenomena aa imperialism, aggression, war, preju- 
dice will not be dismissed in a summary way on the basis of 
an immutable *^human nature** blindly seeking for power and 
domination; or on the basis of the inherently aggressive nature 
of a group or, worse, of a few ambition-immersed leaders (like 
Hitler); or on the basis of the inherent “traits** of on ethnic 
group. They will be approached in terms of observable vari- 
ables that contribute to praduce a certain effect. In this con- 
nection, it is relevant to mention that the Soviet denunciations 
of Hitler’s aggressions during World War U, when they were 
in the thick of a life-and-death struggle requiring almost super- 
human sacrifice, were not directed against any inherent bar- 
barism of the German people as such. 

Central Faetors That Need Focusing In Social Distance Studios 

The generally standardized scale of social distance, as we 
have seen, seems to be common to the great majority of con- 
forming Americans. If similai* methods were used to measure 
prejudice in other countries, probably we would obtain othei* 
established prejudice scales in most of them. Li the United 
States, those who free thems^ves of prejudices are, on the 
whole, the dissenters, the nonconformists in various degi'ees. 
The rich and the poor, the college students studying engineer- 
ing or liberal arts, minority groups as well os majority groups 
shore these prejudices as long as they do not feel dissatisfied 
with tilings as they are. 

All this goes to show that once a superstructure of values, 
of which the social distance scale is a part, becomes standoi'dized 
for a group, it tends to be accepted even by those who suffer 
and are discriminated against because of its existence. This 
fact is becoming an established generalization. It is also a fact, 
in harmony with substantiations from the laboratory and from 
everyday life, that once such a prejudice scale becomes a port 
of the ego of the individual, it renders his reactions to related 
stimuli highly selective and partial. 

Yet these findings constitute only a port of the psychology 
of social distance. If the psychologist complacently stops at this 



Social Distance (Prejudice) 303 

point in his account, he will soon discover in the development 
of actual life situations that psychology covers only a 
few variables of social distance. We should always make wle- 
quate note of the fact that the whole superstructure of estab" 
lished human relationships and social norms is a product of 
the inter^tion of groups of individuals with strong motiva- 
tions. Being a product of human interaction, it is not an im- 
mutable entity. With the rise of new conditions and changed 
modes of interaction, it is subject to modifications— gradual 
or, at times, abrupt. No superatructure of prejudice or other 
norms remains intact for long when conditions are changing. 
Negro veterans who heard during the war that tliey were 
fighting for the Four Freedoms are showing increasing signs 
of dissatisfaction and restlessness with things as they are. 
The recent law in India giving foil citizen's rights to the “un- 
touchables” is atrilcing evidence that the caste system is 
breaking down — ^the caste system that was utilized as a strong 
point of argument by those students who assigned equal 
weight to all observed facts and refused to single out the inde- 
pendent and dependent variables in the determination of 
human relationships. 

The psychologist may find it outside the scope of controlled 
observation to trace historically the rise of a superstructure 
of prejudice, or some other set of norms, on the basis of inter- 
actions of dominant and subjected groups with unmistakable 
motivation (economic and political). But, if he wants to com- 
plete the picture, he cannot very well ignore the motivations of 
interested groups who ai'e striving to change or perpetuate the 
existing standardized scheme of human r^tionships. 

Closely connected with this is the possible role of the mass 
media of communication in perpetuating or changing scales of 
social distance. Tliis raises, in turn, the question of me role of 
the owners of these media in determining the direction of atti- 
tude perpetuation or attitude change. These problems have not 
yet been systematically approached by the social psychologist. 
Serious studies dealing with these factors will further help us in 
formulating an adequate social psychology of prejudice. 



PART THREE 


Individuals and Social Change 





Introdvction 



IN THE PHECBDING CHAPTERS, WE EIBCTJSSBD THE EPPECTfl Off 

social products (values, norms, etc.) on the individual. We 
traced briefly the place of social values in the formation of his 
ego-attitudes and their e0ects on his ego-involvements. But, 
we repeat, social values, norms, and other social products are 
not fixed entities. They are products of social interaction that 
takes place under certain d^nite conditions (see Introduction 
to Part II, and Chapter 7). Changing ccmditions (such as 
scientiflo discoveries, new technological developments, miss 
deprivations, changes in the cultur^ level of the papulation, 
etc.) enter as new factors in social interaction. These new fac-^ 
tors require a new set of norras— norms appropriate to the new 
conditions. Consequently, they disturb the existing human 
relationships and tiie superstructure of established norms. 

The old norms do not relinqumh their place to the new over* 
night, even if the new ones formulate the new conditiona 
objectively. What is established bs normal, as respectable, aa 
sacred, is defended by groups of established respectability. 
Mhrked deviations foom the norm are shocking at first to the 
rank and file of established society, even though the change 
may be to their benefit. The individual's very sense of stability 
and the continuity of this stability from day to day ore derived 
psychologically from the existing set of values, whatever it 
may be in a given social setting (see Chapters H and 12). 
Besides, in times of social transition, there are always powerful . 
groups who are the privileged beneficiaries of things as they 
are. ^ey defend the established values to the last ditch, The 
American Tories during the Revolution and ,the aristocracy 
that clustered around king during the Prench Revolution , 
are examples of such groups. 


308 An Outline of Social Psycliology 

Because of sheer inertia, or the conscious efforts of interested 
groups, there ensues friction of varying degrees between the 
established and the new. The surviv^ of the established values 
in spite of the compelling onslaughts of new situations demand- 
ing the acceptance of their appropriate values is usually re- 
ferred to as the “ cultural lag by social scientists. 

The study of social change as such is the concern of investi- 
gators in social sciences — ^the sociologist, political scientist, etc. 
As psychologists, our primary concern is the effect of change 
on tiae individual, and die eff^ of psychological factors (in- 
dividual and group) in bringing about the change. The recip- 
rocal effects of individual and social change cover a wide 
range of topics. Of this wide range of topics related to in- 
dividual and social change, we shall briefly discuss only two 
which are surely among the most crucial: (1) the effects of 
technology and (S) the effects of mass deprivation. We shall 
not discuss such major related topics as the role of leadership 
and the effect of the intellectual-politicBl level (e.g., class con- 
sciousness and intellectual movements). 



15. 

The Elffects qf Techmlogp 


\?HBN THE AlOlinC BOMBS ‘WEBB BBOFFEB AT HIROSHIMA AUD 

Nagasaki— killing tens of thousands, leaving untold devastation 
of human life and activities— the startled peoples of the world 
w^re forced to the realization of the inexorable trend of modem 
technology. Here is a weapon of war which in one stroke can 
eliminate a modem metropolis, for which no possibility of an 
adequate defense exists, and &oin which no peoples can count 
themselves safe. The scientists and technicians who developed 
the bomb envisaged its use by rockets traveling at such great 
height and speed that their source would be impossible to trace> 
fi'om airplanes traveling fast^ than the speed of soiind. 

The United Nations, then m the process of formation, al- 
tered its plans for its first meetings to include discussion of .the 
bomb. And in the United States, scientists who had tradi- 
tionally pretended to keep away from political affairs met, 
organized, and used all the. facilities aveulable to convey the 
revolutionary significance of the development. As one eminmt 
soientist said: ** We who have lived for years in the shadow of 
the atomic bomb are well acquainted with fear.” ‘ Again and 
a gfl-iu they warned that ^e devastating results . . . must 
be seen to be believed . . that the peoples of the world must 
revise their ways of thinking and ac^g in relation to each 
other in view of the bomb; mat what these men’s labor had 
produced, other men’s labor could produce. One scientist, dis- 
turbed by the failiu'e of politiciBins to grasp the significance of 
the atom bomb for their future actions, suggested that they 
be made to witness an atomic explosion.’ Judging &om Hersey* s 

‘ Dr. H. C. Urey, ” Atomic Twror Tomorrow," Caiwt, January S, lfl46, p. 1, 

• Dr. J. B. Op^nhflJmBT Jo the York Kmw, Octolw 18 . IMS. 

• 1, Scilard, *' o Turned the Switch,’* NoHon’t Supplement, Part II, pecenuw SS, 
lOM, pp, 718-719. 


889 


870 An Outline of Social Paychology 

ftcqount of the survivors of Hiroshima^ there are few individuals 
who con experience other than terror and awe after first-hand 
experience with the bomb. 

It is imquestionably true that the major impact of atomic 
energy will be felt in the future. Perhaps too many people follow 
the lead of those who choose to ignore the considered counsel 
of the scientists and they treat the atomic bomb as a “secret” 
to be held in “sacred trust.” But even if the peoples of the world 
are spared the tragedy of a war with atom bombs, rockets, and 
super-air power, they will inevitably face the problems ci'eated 
by the revolutionoiy potential of atomic energy. No less an 
authority than Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimcr has cslimated that 
it is enth^ly possible that an American city will be heated with 
atomic energy *'in less than five years.” ^ And this is merely one 
of many astounding developments which man’s progressive 
understanding of nature holds for the future. Such develop- 
ments will necessarily lead to a rearrangement of man’s activi- 
ties and social relationships, as other te^nological innovations 
and appliances have in recent centuries. 

Bven in a technologically developed country lilce the thuted 
States, the development and widespread use of such inventions 
as the automobile, aitplone, radio, motion picture, have had 
far-reaching social and psychological effects. They have 
affected not only people’s concepts of speed and time, but their 
whole life activities, their tastes, their dreams and aspirations. 
The peculiar psychological products arising in a great metropo- 
lis, like New York or Chicago, which has developed rapidly 
during the past century, exemplify' the psychological effects of 
modem te<jmology. The development and expansion of indus- 
try in all parts of the world are accompanied by the almost 
crushing impact of tools, arms, means of transportation and 
communication upon cultures which were heretofore relatively 
isolated; they are in a state of disequilibrium as they become 
increasingly functional ports of a world-wide industri^ civiliza- 
tion. There was a time when we could speak appropriately of 
“patterns of culture” comparatively complete wiUxin them- 
sdves. But today, when the representatives of Samoa, Indo- 

* Quoted by H, ^gel ia and Frogrew,” NatMa Supplement, Fbrt II. 

Decomber 9S, pp. 710-711. 



The Effects of Technology 871 

nesift) Viet Nam, and Outer Mongolia come before the United 
Nations mtli similar social and political aspirations, it is hardly 
realistic to speak of dosed coiture patterns. A system or con- 
figuration is closed or self-sustaining only if the dominant in- 
tei'related factors are contributed by the system itself. If the 
functional interdependence of parts is violated in a major way 
by factors fivm the outside, one can no longer ^eak of a closed 
cpnfiguration. The stability is spoiled; the system is in a state of 
disequilibrium in which the inside forcra tending to keep it 
intact are in sharp conflict with the outside forces tending to 
establish a new equilibrium. 

The concern of ethnologists over problems of culture change 
and “acculturation “ reflects this general trend toward a 
functionally interrelated world. Tbs general concern is epit- 
omized in the words of Malinowski: 

The anthropologist is becoming increasingly aware that the study 
of culture change must become one of his mun tafics in fidd work and 
theofy. The figment of the 'Wontaminated" Native has to be 
dropped from research in field and study. The cogent reason for this 
is that the unconteminated " Native does not eadat anywhere. He 
man of sdence has to study what is, and not w^t might have been. 
yihisn. his main interest lies in the reconstruction of the tribol past, he 
still has to study tte Native as he is now, affected by Westem in- 
fluences, ... . - 

The anthropologist could also usefully reflect on the ivA, that evo-; 
lutiou and diffusion are. processes not so different as they appear at 
first sight. Culture chan^ in Africa does not differ, profoundly from 
tliat which is at present transforming the rnrd Md backward coun- 
tries of Europe from peasant communities, living by indigenous age- 
long economic systems, by folklore and kinsbp otgamzoUaa, mto a 
new type closely akin to the proletariat found in the industrial dis- 
. tricts of the United States, -England; or France. ^ 

Our problem in this chapter is not that of culture ctmnge or 
technology-mentality relationships in ^ their various pha^. 
Nor ofl fT i we give even a partial account of the psycholo^c^ 
effects of the automobile, airplane, radio, movies, or atonuc 
bomb. Suidi effects are compKcated problems of the first order. 

» B. Malinowski, The DuMn^f ^ Sarial Okange, An Imiry into Sate MaioM 
in Africa, Now Hevoni Yalo Univeraity Prow; 1045, pp. Sri. 



S72 An Outline of Social Psychology 

However, they may all be effectively considered as part of the 
problem of the effects of technology (or matei'ial culture) upon 
the psychology of individuals. 

In stressing here the influence of material and technological 
conditions on individuals, we must bear in mind what we have 
already learned concerning one aspect of attitude psychology 
and the effects of tlie non-material culture — of concepts, values, 
norms. The material culture or teclinology seldom if ever affects 
the individual discretely. He is simultan^usly 'affected by the 
many norms of his society, by the pressures of groups of indi- 
viduals who are motivated to maintain the existing order of 
things or to mold his attitudes toward the technological product 
in a pai'ticular way, The existing superstructure of concepts, 
norms, and values (non-matmai culture) functions as on im- 
portant factor in determining the speed or slowness with which 
technological developments ore accepted and propagated, and 
human relationships brought into haimony with them. In tlie 
United States, for example, there was considerable resistance 
to automobiles, not only on the part of manufacturers of horse- 
drawn vehicles, but also on the part of many members of tlie 
older generation. 

There are socially approved and disapproved ways of look- 
ing at things, approaching situations, and living everyday life. 
These social values, positive and negative, which in time be- 
come the individual’s own attitudes, regulate and limit his 
whole outlook. Also, any deviation from these established ways 
on the part of the individual, even in the direction of an inno- 
vation which is destined to become **normal” in the years to 
come, is looked upon at first with almost invariable suspicion. 
In coses of deviation considered important by the group, and 
especially if vested interests ” are at sta^e, the deviator calls 
down upon himself the scorn and the wrath of ’’good people.” 
Deviations even in the direction of innovations which have 
proved to be blessings have been risky. The resistance to inno- 
vations has been duly noted by those authorities who have 
most emphatically str^sed the decisive effect of technological 
changes in shaping the mentality of man, and who, for this 
reason, have been criticized in a summary way for reducing 
everything to crude material determination. This resistance of 



The Effects of Technology 873 

the aupei’structure of established values is clearly stated by 
Engels in his frequently quoted passage: 

According to the materialist conception of histoiy the determining 
element in history is uUwuiiely the production and reproduction in 
real life. . . . If therefore somebody twists this into the statement that 
the economic clement is the dnly determining one, he transforms it 
into a meaningless, abstract and absurd phrase. The economic situ- 
ation is tlie basis, but the various elements of the superstructure — 
politicol forms of the class struggle and its consequences, constitu- 
tions established by the victorious class after a successful battle, etc. 
—forms of law, and even the reEexea of all these actual struggles in 
the brains of the combatants: political, legal, philosophical theories, 
I'eligioua ideas and their further devriopment into the systems of 
dogma — also exercise their influence upon the course of the historic 
struggles and in many cases preponderate in determining their /orm. 
There is an mteraction of all these elements, in which, amimg the 
endless host of accidents (i.6. of things and events whose intercon- 
nection is so remote or so impossible to prove that we can regard it as 
absent and can neglect it), the economic movement final^ osserta 
itself os nccesaaiy. Otherwise the application of the theory to any 
period of history one chose would be easier than the solution of a 
simple equation of the first degree.* 

As we have seen in earlier chapters, it has been demon- 
sti'ated that when individuals face or use repeatedly in their 
daily work certain magnitudes, certain weights, certain proper-; 
tions, a certain schedule of life, they cannot help forming appro- 
priate psychological scales in relation to them, whether ^ey 
ore conscious of the fact or not Subsequently when they 
these stimuli or stimuli related to them, they react to them as 
regulated by the established scales. Thus regulated, they react 
to stimuli as normal or out of the ordinary, as too big, too 
small, too fast, too alow, too hard, too easy os the case may be. 
As we shall see presently, to a peasant from a primitive village 
whose travel speed is regulated by the fact that he must .walk 
or ride on a donkey, a trip to the market town in a worn-out 
bus on a primitive dirt rood is considered a rare luxury and a 
terrific speed. To him, an income of from three to four hundred 
dollars' a year is ^at wealth. Such referential regulation of 

• F. Engels, quoted from D. Guest, Dialtetieol Mdimalim, New York: Intemir 
tiooal, toss, pp. 01 - 08 . , ' . • ■ ' 



874 An Outiine of Social Psychology* 

leactions according to definite established scales in the life 
drcumstances surrounding the individual is not a psychological 
peculiarity of a poor Asiatic peasant. In an actual experimenti 
a college professor, when con&onted with the task of judging a 
series of graded weights which had a range within well bdow a 
kilogram, at first gave a good many judgments of heavy, 
whereas a person dealing with relatively heavy weights in his 
daily job at first gave a good many judgments of liffkt when 
confronted with l£e same tosk.^ Of course the standards of 
income used by a poor worker and a rich industrialist in 
America are regulated by their respective established scales. 

Definite important psychological products in the individual 
are determined by compelling material and technological con- 
ditions surrounding him. The urgency of these conditions 
corresponds psychologically to the compellingness of well- 
structured stimulus situations of the wdl-known perception 
experiments, in which the psychological frame and salient 
reference points correspond dosely to those of the objective 
field of stimulation. Such evidence further shows that the 
changes in material and technological conditions are accom- 
panied by similar, but by no means one-to-one, changes in 
mentality. 

In presenting concrete illustrations of the effects of tech- 
nology, we sh^ begin with relatively simple situations, In 
this way, we may single out some of the importosit variables 
involved. Groups of individuals who ore somewhat isolated 
from the general ruu of modern industrial life ore admirably 
suited for such study. 

Contact -with Modern Technology in Five Turkish Villages 

In 1044, a study of the technology and mentality relation- 
ship was mode in five Turkish villages with varying degrees of 
isolation from more developed centers and varying degrees of 
contact with modem technology. All these villages had some 
contact with the outside world and, along with the rest of the 
country, were in a stage of transition. But the contrast be- 
tween the most and least isolated villages is sufiicient to indi- 

* Reported by M, B. in The influence of amount of practice upob the 

of a i^e of judgment, J. Expar. PiyaAol., 1047, 87, Sffl-SOO. 



Thfi Sheets of Techjiology 

cate tlie striking effects of the relative degree of contact with 
technology. The material was collected hy students who 
came from the villages and hence were intimate with village 
life. ® 

Two hinds of data were secured: (1) data concerning the 
material conditions and technological level of the village; 
(2) data concei-ning the mentality of the villagers. 

Among the former wei-e descriptions of the geographical 
situation; the general characteristioe of the territory in which 
the village was situated; roads; the means of transportation and 
ooimnunicatiou; the diatoibution of land; properties of the soil; 
the main means of livelihood (such as &mung, animal'-roisiug, 
dairy production); the tools used in production; trading and 
marketing within and outside the village; diverse occasions 
for outside contacts; the degree of mobility to towns and cities; 
schooling and the degree of lit^acy; etc.* 

We limited the scope of the psychological data to a few basic 
phenomena dealing, primarily with the unitSj precision, and 
scope of apace, distance, and time perceptions, the scales and 
standards consciously or unconsciously regulating the villagers* 
conceptions of the ^en or strange, and of wealUi, These basic 
standards and scales and basic attitudes r^ulating ia>group 
and out-group expectations are more than cognitive phe* 
nomena; they act in an imporUmt way to regulate the bound- 
aries of the indWiducd'ft activities and .mEpectations, ibe scope 
and limits of his mobility in undertaking the vital concerns of 
his life. 

Instead of presenting more sketches of each of the five vil^ 
lages, we will obtain a more concrete inmression .of the study 
from summaries of the results lor the relativriy most isolated 
and least isolated villages — ^ICariik in the western interior of 
Turkey and Be^ikdUzIl on the Black Sea coast. 

The ViUage of Karlik, Karlik is a village of 861 people situ- 
ated in a rather mountainous region east of the Aegean coast. ^ 
It is about 30 Idlometers from the capital town of the province, 
Afyon, and about 5 kilometers from a larger villege, Suhut. 

* author gratefully ackoowladgei hh debt to Dr. B^tcoBoraQ, aidvtabt 
foBsor of sociology in Ankara Uaiveriity, for her eSfeotive oopperetum in die pr^ratioa 
ofUdsfitudy. , . > 



376 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Although there is a dirt road between the two villages* the vil- 
lagers usually take the shorter path to Suhut over the hills on 
foot or on donkey. The stream at the edge of the village is 
flooded most of the time during the winter. Since tliere is no 
bridge over it, all actual contact is cut off with the larger vil- 
lage while the stream is flooded. There is one telephone in 
Karlik for official governmental use. 

There is occasional bus service to the more important towns 
from $uhut. But the villagers cannot take advantage of this 
for trips to surrounding towns, because it is very expensive, 
almost a luxury for them. When they do use the bus for some 
urgent business, they describe it in superlatives. The railroad 
is 36 kilometers away. 

The richest two or three families each owns about 200 d&nUm 
(about 60 acres) of land.^ Over 26% of the families own no 
land. They have to work on the forms of othei's to earn their 
living. The number of these landless peasants is increasing, 
since those who own a few acres of land are being forced to sell 
to those who already own larger tracts. The villagers who come 
between these two extremes own 16 to 20 ddnilm acres). 
Three-fourths of the people in the village have to work for 
larger land-owners to make ends meet. The villagers are de- 
pendent for their livelihood on the farming of grains. There 
ore no animal herds of substantial economic value except the 
oxen, donkeys, horses, and cows kept for form work, domestic 
use, and limited trading purposes. Only primitive tools are used 
in farming; no modern m^inery is available. Some of the 
landless peasants who, in spite of their desperate efforts can- 
not make ends meet in Korlik go to work temporarily in the 

S rovinces along the Aegean. After making enough money to 
Lst for a few months, ^ey usually return to the village, only 
to repeat the trip again when the money is gone. Between the 
planting season and harvest time, some of these poor villagei's 
go to the capital town of the province (Afyon) to do construc- 
tion work. 

There are no stores in the village. Therefore the villagers 
have to go to §uhut on market days to sell their goods and to 
buy their few necessities. Trips to and &om the village on mor- 

* One acre equals approximate^ 4 dOnUm. 



The Effects of Technology 377 

ket days are made by donkey; on ordinary days, the trip ig 
made on foot. A bai-ber and a blacksmith come from a neigh- 
boring town every two weeks. 

The vilkge school was founded in 1938 . The one teacher (a 
man who did not have the usual normal school training) has to 
teach all three classes and keep up school attendance} which is 
no mean task in itself because parents need their children to 
work on the farm* tend the few cows, and do other tasks. 

This setting of Karlik, its mode of life and little contact with 
modem technology, produce definite psychological effects. 
As stated earlier, the psycholo^col effects we will consider are 
coi^ned to a few relatively simple though basic phenomena 
which tend to set the boundaries of the individual's world and 
activities. 

^ Units of distance: The villagers express distances up to 8 or 4 
kilometers by such expressions as: “Within a bullet's reach.” 
“as far as my voice can go,” “as far as (it takes) to smoke a 
cigarette,” etc. Any more precisely standardized units of dis- 
tance, such as kilometers or miles, are not used. 

Long distances, for example SO kilometers, ore expressed as: 
“You start early in the morning and reach there by sunset,” 
or “ You reach there (by the time) you work on crc^s of one 
d&nUm (of land),” The Utter is, of course, based on the worfc. 
done without use of any modem agricultural tools. The 
guesses of distance in terms of time are always made in teims 
of the time a trip will take on/ooi. When the villagers figure out 
long distances involving travel by bus or train, they do at' in 
terms of the number of days, nights, and fractions th^of (ndt 
in hours) spent on the bus or the ti'oin. They have no idefa how 
far these distances really are. T^ey cannot translate them into 
terms of walking time, their real psychological distance unit. 

The greatest distances in their e3q)erience vary, in general, 
according to whether they are male or female and, among 
males, according to whether or not they have completed thrir 
compulsory military service. The farthest distance in the ex- 
perience of men who have completed iheii mititaiy service is 
the place they were sent for that service. For women, the 
farthest distance is either the larger neighboring' village 
( 3 uhut, S Idlometers away) or the capital town of the province 



378 


An Outline of Social Psychology 

SO kilometers away. Por males who have not yet left for their 
military service* Ihe greatest distance is some place to which 
Ihey have gone for the temporary work necessary to balance 
their annual budget. Por older men who fought in World War I 
and the Turldsh War for Independence* it is the distance to 
the places where they fought. Of other distant places or con> 
tinents they have only vague notions. 

In the experience of both older and younger men* the dis- 
tances to places beyond their province are gi'eatly distorted* 
the manner of distortion depending on whether their visit was 
made on foot or on the train. Par more distant places which 
were traveled to by train are guessed as closer than a shorter 
distance reached mainly on foot. Por example, the town of 
Haymaua in the neighboring province, to whidi one has to 
walk, is considered farther away than Istanbul* which by rail- 
road is actually almost twice as for. The following illustration 
is still more striking; Older men who served in the army in 
World 'War I both in the province of Van, Turkey (near the 
Persian border), and in Galicia (now mainly in Poland at a 
distance several times that to Van) claim fiiat Van is more 
distant than Galicia. They had to walk most of the way to 
Van; they went to Galicia on the train. In othei* words* before 
a conception of precise units of distance is grasped* the human 
effort spent to reach a place is a major factor in determining 
the experience of distance. 

' Units of time : The following expressions* instead of hours* ore 
generally used for the divisions of the day: “fii'st rooster,'* 

HbUowcU found simlUr diatortions among the Saulteaiuc owing to the fact that 
th^ paycholo^cal unitii of digtonce were expressed in tenns of the number of nights 
■pent en route to a place. In his words: "I do not beli^ that I ever succeeded in 
conveying to them any realirtic notum of the distance I travelled to reach their 
country. Matters were further complkated the foot that my rait of travel in differ- 
ent kinds of convinces was not the sort of knowledge that could be taken for grauted. 
COnsequcDtlyi my attempt to convert distance into concrete qualitative units in- 
teUigit^ to them 0'S<( slwpa) made my home only twice the distance the mouth 
of the river lay from Idke Pekanpkum, obout 260 miles. Actually it was more than 
m times that distance. The difficulty Isy in the fact that I spent the same number of 
nights on the train and the boat between FbOodelphia and mouth of the Berens 
Biver as 1 spent ascending the river. The differential faotor, of course, was the speed 
(rf the train. This mode of' conveyance was known to tiiem only by hearsay.*' A. I. 
Hallowelli Some psyobolo^eal aspects of measurement among the Snulteaux, ilmer. 
Aniknp^girtt 44, 67. 



The Effects of Technology 379 

dawn; ^Meaving of oxen'* (for grazing), sunrise, mid-morning 
(Kuduk), noon; “return of oxen,” aunaet, evening, and mid- 
night (which covers two or three hours). 

The day of the week that stands out from the others and in 
reference to which other days (ordinary weekdays) are regu- 
lated, is the market day of the nearest larger village ($uhut). 
They refer to this village as simply “the Town” (Gaaaba). 
The market day of this town, which happens to be Saturday 
and which regulates the periodicity of their shopping and 
other activities, is referred to as “Town Market” {Gasaha 
Bazari), Three other days of the week ore known as market 
clays for three important towns in the area and ore so named. 
Thus for them the week starts on Saturday, called “ Town 
Market,” and runs as follows: 

Saturday — ^Town Market {Oasabd Bazan) 

Sunday-^andlilei Market 

Monday— G^arssar Market 

Tuesday — Salt 

TVednesday — Car^amha 

Thursday— §'a2 Market 

Friday — Chma 

There are a few villagers who know the names of the days of 
the week and the calendar months. But on the whole the vil- 
lagers do not mmreas (i day by the calendar date and month. 

Divisions of iie month are classified according to the appear 
ance of the moon in the sky: "bright moon,” "dark moon,” 
and the dark moons are specified as coming during the first 
half and second half of the cycle. 

Divisions of the year are expressed as summer, winter, spring* 
fall, and, in addition, such seasons as "haying” (kajhtffftor), 
"end of haiwest” (haman sonu), sowing (sHmler), etc. TMe 
and several other divisions not mentioned here are named a^ 
their farming and animal-raising activities, and one or two after 

'^'coMepUonsTf the strange: All people who by thm mojle of 
life, clothing, speech, etc., are different from the village and 
aoveimment ofScials (mmw), evM though they may be known,. 
Me considered strangers. Ahyone who comes from the outside 
and setUes in the village is still considered a stranger m propo> 



880 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tion to his deviations from the village norms in his living, 
appearance, and expression. Young men who return to the vil- 
lage from their military service make a point of coming home 
with a new suit. The usual reaction even to them is, at first: 
** Hey, Mffmett you kind of look like a stranger. I didn’t rec- 
ognize you at first glance.** This joking but tolerant attitude 
is maintained until ^e new suit wears out to the point where it 
is indistinguishable from other suits, and tilings picked up dur- 
ing the stay outside of the village disappear completely. Any 
deviations in speech are particularly singled out for teasing. 

The villagers consider themselves in a somewhat strange 
place when they move £ or 8 kilometers from their own village* 
Those men who happen to have stayed in comparatively pros- 
perous and large cities and towns, with colorful surroundings 
and fertile soil, express a desiro to go back and even to settle 
down in some such form as : **It is better to live in a place like 
that, even for one day, than living forty days in a place like this 
[refen’ing to Karlik] on which the flies don't even like to make 
species.** 

Standards of riches: Standards of riches vary, within limits, 
according to the economic standing of the villagers — accord- 
ing to the amount of land and the number of farm animals and 
horses they have and the size of tlie crops they raise. The few 
families who possess a relatively large piece of land ore con- 
ceived of by the villagers as men whose farms exceed anything 
which is in tlieir own power to attain. 

Except for two or three men who own (to the villagers) 
disproportionately huge farms, the greatest sum of money one 
can actually conceive of is about $80 for women and around 
$800 for men; howevei', neith^ men nor women have succeeded 
in amassing such huge sums of money in spite of all their toil. 

The following are some examples of what the villagers of 
Kai'lilc consider waste and luxury: Buying a new suit when a 
man already has one, even though it may be full of patches 
(thei'e are no everyday clothes and ** Sunday best**); buying 
^e shoes worn in towns and cities instead of simple leather 
sandals (g^rik ) ; wearing clothes made of the thin materials used 
in towns and cities. Hi short, anything oUier than the bore 
necessities of existence is considered a luxury. 



The Effects of Teclinology 381 

The villages of Kahnagil, Zanapa, and Isabey represent in 
that order closer contact with modem technology and conse- 
quent gradations of these vai-ious concepts. Eor contrast with 
fie findings in Karlik, let us examine a summary of the results 
obtained in the least isolated village^ Be|ikduzti. 

The ViUage of desilediissa. Unlike Karlik, BegikdOzti is a 
coastal village on the Block Sea. The consequent contacts 
afforded by sea communication and the scarcity of tillable 
land create conditions whichi as we shall see* have far-reaching 
effects in the experience and behavior of the villagers. Besik- 
dfizti is about 4 kilometers ^om a somewhat lai'ger village and 
about fil kilometos from the capital city of the province of 
Trabzon, which is itself on the sea. Ai the time of the study, 
Begikdtizii had a population of 842 people, of which 350 were 
males and 492 females. This disproportion arises because many 
men have to leave the village to moke a living for their families 
in various lands of work. (It is even more striking when one 
considers that 800 of the population were under the age of 13, 
the proportion of girls and boys being about eqiiol.) 

The main trade with the outside is carried on ^m port to 
port by boats and small motorboats. It is the businessmen of 
the village, not the producers themselves, who handle the 
shipping of produce, which consists inainly of hazelnuts. 
Since local means of transportation (both animals and vehicles) 
are scarce, goods are generally carried by the villagers to and 
from the loading places on their backs. Because of scarcity 
of transportation inland, most trading is done by sea. Though 
there are occasional buses to the nearby town and city, the usual 
mode of travel inland is on foot. Some trading is done in the 
town 4 kilometers away where the villagers sell some hazel- 
nuts, butter, and a small quantity of a few other agricultural 
products, and where they buy soap, salt, sugar, clothing, and 
other manufactured goods. In this area, as in many places along 
the Block Sea coast, the tillable farms are squee^ between 
the hills. The main means of livelihood consists of raising 
hazelnuts and com, and fishing. About 80%. of the villagers 
are unable to raise sufficient corn, the staple food, for their own' 
use. During recent years, they had to import com by'sea from 
the outside. The money received &om sdling hazelnuts is not 



382 An Outline of Social Psychology 

enough to give all the people a living; so many men have to 
look for other jobs. 

In recent years many villagers have worked in the Zanguldak 
coal mines, the Korabtlk sted works, and the Divrik ore mines. 
Others work on boats, in fishing, in carrying small cargoes by 
rowboat or sailboat, or in small trades, e.g., carpentry. 

Some of the men who go away to earn a living keep their 
roots in the village, but oQiers have left the village with their 
families and settled in other places. Oiiring the last decade, 10 
families moved away after aelling everything they had. 

There are about 10 stores, a few coffee houses, 5 shoemakers 
and repairmen, and 8 hazelnut traders in the village. All the 
coffee houses have radios. People are very much interested in 
listening, especially to news. There is an official telephone in 
the village. The villagers like political articles and the ^*funnies*’ 
in the newspapers. 

Since 1909 there has been an elementary school in the village. 
Most of the young men are literate. A few are high-school 
graduates. The young men are aware of and discuss social, eco- 
nomic, and political problems, particularly those which have 
come to their attention os a consequence of their travel. 

Units of distance: In expressing distance, the people of 
BegikdOzU. use the minutes, hours, and days it takes to make 
the trip. Distance by sea between the ports they express both 
in kilometers and in the hours’ and days^ travel required on 
ship. For example, they say **It takes — days to sail to Istanbul 
or Samsun or Bize,” as the case may be. Some of the young 
people who want to impress their int^ectual visitors use only 
kilometei's. 

Since inland trips ore seldom made by motor or horse-drawn 
vehicles, but on foojtt inland distances are usually e}q)ressed by 
the time that it will take to walk to the destination. Inland 
places which con be reached and returned from in one day are 
considered in the neighborhood. Points beyond this ore con- 
sidered distant. 

Almost all parts of Turkey are known to the men, for many 
have gone to work in the various provinces. A few men had 
jobs in Poland and the Soviet Union when World War II 
started. Such men come back with concrete experiences of social 



The Effects of Technology 388 

mid economic conditions in these places^ They sponteiieously 
compare conditions at home with those abroad. For example, 

they say, "In there aje lots of crops, but they don*t 

know what to do with them,” or "It is better to be a lonely 

shepherd in than to be a fanner here,” 

To most of the women who have stayed at home while their 
husbands, brothers, or sons were away, these outside places are 
only names. The illiterate men who stick to the soil and who 
have not left the village to work are only slightly different from 
these women in many respects. The conception of faraway 
places varies in the case of literate men who have not been away 
themselves. 

Units of time: Old people usually locate events which took 
place some decades previously m terms of past wars, the gen- 
eral emigration during the first World War, and other such 
memorable events. The activities most closely connected with 
their lives serve as reference periods for the subdivisions of 
time within the year, e.g., *^the haselnut-gathering period’’ 
^ndik topkima), "the cutting of com*’ (mmr kssim'), etc. 
'file moat important period is the haaelnut-harvesting period. 
If the hazelnuts are abundant, it is an occasion of extraordinary 
rejoicing, of singing and danring in the orchards. If the crpp 
is poor, a general gloom prevails. 

file days of the week used in the village are named lor 
market days in the village and the vicinity, i.e., Beiikdilzfi 
Market, GOrele Market, Eynesil Market, etc. 'The market day of 
Idle vill^e is especially importfmt in regulating the activities pf 
other weekdays. Time is generally designated in relation to the 
market day as, for example, a day or two days after zn&rket day. 

About 80 people in w village regularly use a calendar .and a 
watch or clock. People engaged exriusively in farming still use 
units based on natural phenomena (sunrise, sunset, etc.) 

Conception of strangers : Since many of these villagers go to the 
markets in the neighboring villages and towns, and since many 
have worked in all sorts of places, their conception, of strangers 
is rather broad. To them, unlike other villagers, the sight of city 
people and officials does not seem strange. They engage in long 
iliflffliapinnfl with them. They are personally acquaint^ with 
TnH.Ti y people from other coastal villages in. the area. 



384 An Outime of Social Psychology 

On almost any seashore and in any place where there are 
hazelnut orchards* the people of Begikdtiztt do not seem to 
experience a feeling of strangeness. They have developed a 
capacity for making a rapid adaptation to new surroundings 
even in places with different characteristics. The poor and land- 
less villagers tend to look for chances to work outside the vil- 
lage and to move away from it. This unmistoJcable impact of 
material and technological conditions (e.g.j the scarcity of land 
and the travel by water) on the psychological mobility of these 
people is of particular importance. But the old folks react to 
this mobility unfavorably. In fact they resist it. It is psycho- 
logically painful for them to break the long-established ties with 
their land, neighbors, etc. 

Standards of riches; Among the people, in general, the 
amount of hazelnuts one raises and hoards for trading pur- 
poses is usually used in gauging wealth. For the professional 
traders, the money accumulated is becoming a more important 
standard of wealth. 

A person who owns £10 ddnilm of hazelnut orchard and 35 
ddniim of corn field, and raises 4000 to 5000 kilograms of hazel- 
nuts and 3000 kilograms of com is considered wealthy. The 
farmers consider the accumulation of about $3000 a fortune; 
but for the village traders it is a little over $5000. 

Money spent on women, di'ink, and “luxuiy” items in cloth- 
ing and furniture is considered wasted. But some villagers do 
indulge in them. A man who leaves the village in threadbare 
clothes and sandals and comes back in *‘city** clothes faces 
ridicule from the other villagers. 

From this study of five Turicish villages* of which two have 
been summarized here, we may draw some definite conclusions 
concerning the effects of modern teclmology upon the psy- 
chology of individuals : 

(1) Before tlie individuals in a village reach the stage of 
development in which the internationally standardized units 
of distance, space, and time are used, certain units and an- 
chorages do become standardized, chiefly (allowances being 
made for the influence of norms and values) as determined by 
(a) the periodicity of their economic and social activities (sudb 

This study is to be j^ubUalied in full. 



The Effects of Technology 885 

as their market day); (i) the periodicity of certain natural 
events (such as the sunrise or cycles of the moon) and the com- 
pelling features of the surrouncUngs (such as a mountain peak). 
But such standardized units and anchorages lack precision in 
varying degrees. 

( 2 ) As one paases from more isolated to less isolated, from 
technologically less-developed to more-developed villages, 
international units of distance, space, and time are used roughly 
in proportion to the degree of the impact of modern technology, 
and tlieir use becomes correspondingly more precise. 

( 3 ) A scale of riches exists for every village, the limits of 
which are set by the financial levels of the rich and the poor 
in the village. The standard of riches of the individual varies 
according to his relative position on the scale. 

( 4 ) The radius of the world in which the individual lives 
his daily life widens in proporbon to the degree of contact with 
the products and facilities of modern technology. 

(fi) Mobility (actual and psychological) is inca^ased pro- 
portionate to the degree of these contacts and to economic 
scarcity and pressure. In other words, the greater the degree 
of contact and the greater the pressure of economic scarcity, 
the greatei* is the mobility toward towns and cities for trade 
and industry and the greater is the psychological mobhity. 

'We must not lose sight of the effects and distortions brought 
about by the inertia and reaction of the existing superstnicture 
of values or norms. Such effects, indeed, may roughly corre- 
spond to the degree of stabili^ and rigidity of thb existing 
superstructure. We have already discussed the effects of socid 
norms. 'While keeping in mind all that we have learned concern- 
ing this important area of stimulation, we must examine further 
the effects of material and so<^-econoinic conditions. 

Substantiation from Similar Isolated localities in Amerloa^ 
Japan, South Africa, and Mexico 

In ethnological and sociological literature, we find material 
which substantiates the hypotheses concerning technology- 
mentality relationships deiiv^ from this study of five villages. 
For the most part, of course, such material has been collected 
for the study of a variety of other problems. But some illus- 



386 An Outline of Social Psychology 

trations collected in different parts of the world are pertinent 
to these hypotheses. An even larger group of data, containing 
illustrations of more complicated psychological phenomena 
than we have considered thus maJces possible filler exten- 
sion of the conclusions concerning the technology-mentality 
relationship. 

Even in the United States, a country where modem tech- 
nology has reached perhaps its highest and most widespread 
development at the piesent time, it has been possible in fairly 
recent years to find groups of people who have been virtually 
isolated from the impact of these developments. One such area 
in the Blue Badge Moimtaius of Virginia was studied for two 
years by a staff of social scientists and psychologists and was 
reported by Sherman and Henry in their book. Hollow FoVe}* 

The communities studied are located in mountain pockets 
less than 100 miles from 'Washington, D. C. The ancestors of 
the present population, chieffy of English and Scotch-Irish 
origin, came to the area in the early 1800*s. Their “peculiar 
language ” retains many Elizabethan espresaiona. 

The most isolated communi^ is Colvin Hollow, a scattered 
collection of cabins with garden patches of about acres each. 
There is no general system of communication between the 
cabins, and no road to the outside world. The garden plots 
furnish the main means of livelihood. No modem tools are 
available. There are “rudiments of a home industry’* — basket 
weaving. About 3 miles away, over a high ridge and along a 
narrow path, is a summer resort where some of the men and 
women work sporadically at unskilled jobs in the summer. 
Only a part of the wages paid is cash. Some men occasionally 
work as form hands in the valley, a difficult 8 miles away. 
Most of the little trading for the Hollow is done by one man 
who makes about four trips a week across the almost trailless 
mountains to the vall^ for supplies. No one in the Hollow 
con read or write. 

' The investigators note that in this isolated community: 

AbOity to moke specific space and time differentiations also was 
quite undeveloped. 'When a boy nineteen years old was asked where 
the next family lived, he replied: ** Over thar a piece.** 

^ M. Sherman and T. B. Henry, Hollmo F<dk, New York: Crowdl, 1038. 



The Effects of Technology S87 

H« didn’t know what was meant when asked whether the distance 
was a mile or a hundred yards. Asked where another family lived, he 
again replied: “ Over thar a piece.** . 

One of these families lived a mile and the other about a quarter of 
a mile away. He could not diSeientiate distance in definite terms. 
The nearest any child came to making such a differentiation was that 
one family lived “not a for piece over the hill'* and that the other 
lived “ a good piece through the woods” (pp. 147-148), 

Expressions of units of time were also vague. Only 3 children 
in the group, including hoys and girls in their teens, could tell 
the days of the week. "Many Colvin children do not know the 
difference between Sunday and Wednesday or between room- 
ing and noon. It is not vital for them to have this information 
because their way of living does not take into account time or 
days. All days are practically alike in Colvin Hollow** (p. 1S5). 
Only children could tell the year or the month. Three said 
they had heard of Christmas and Thanksgiving but they did 
not know what was done on these days. Only a few could give 
their bii'thdaya. 

Some idea of the radius of the world for these Hollow folk 
is given by the following: 

All the local government asks of the holbw folk is to stay 
hiddeu—and this is exactly what they themselvw desire. ^ 
long as they remain in the mountain pocket the rest , of the 
world is not concerned with their affairs, any more than they 
themselves ore concerned in the affairs of county, state or 
nation. The Colvin Hollow children know only the name of the 
town at the foot of the mountaios which is visited occasionally 
by their parents and where they have some relatives ** (p. 810). 
Again: ** All appeared satisfied with their environment. None 
wanted to live in a better house or to travel They hardly' knew 
that other places exist beyond the mduntains** (p. lOS). 
People from outside the Hollow af e viewed with great suspicion. 

The standard of Uving in Colvin Hollow is so uniformly, low 
that ** there is essentioliy no difference in the economic status 
of families .*’ (p. 188). Every person strives only to subsist. As 
the authors put it, V. . . they measure success hy the ability 
to ward off misfortune” (p. 800). 

” In Colvin Hollow, duo to limited contacts, the desires of the 



388 An Outline of Social Psychology 

children are few” (p. 100). They hardly mentioned candy, 
since they had seen very little* 

When asked, “ What do you want to be when you grow up?” 
the children could not answer because they had never come in 
contact with a diversity of occupations. When the question 
was explained more fully the usual answer' was: “1 wants to 
be what I am ” (p. 104). 

Struggles for objects to satisfy basic needs and for status, 
thus, are also determined by the material-technological sur- 
roundings in which they occur. 

Life in Colvin Hollow was so different from the general rim 
of life in America that the men had little knowledge of regular 
or systematic work. In observing the rude construction work, 
the authors noted a lack of any system and even of “initiative” 
to do the work necessary for physical comfort. Work on garden 
patches comes closest to being regular; however, even in this 
case, regular work is done only at sowing and harvest time. 
Basket-weaving is so sporadic that even paid orders are likely 
to go unfilled. This slow tempo of life is reflected in the reac- 
tions of tile children. On intelligence tests, they were found to 
be so slow and cautious in replying that speed requirements of 
the tests could not be fulfilled. 

Needles Hollow has relatively more contacts with the out- 
side world. It is situated on a trail which connects with the 
county road leading to the vaUcfy. The farms average abt3ait 5 
acres apiece and almost every &mily has a pig and chickens. 
A few men are literate. 

Hei'e, “ * the poor and the rich * begin to appear . . • ihe 
wealthiest family . , . cultivate twenty-four acres and raises 
practically all the food it consumes. It also has a surplus of 
farm products for sale in the vaUey** (p. 182). Land is appar- 
ently the main standard of wealth. It is significant that “ many 
of lie farmers say [untruthfully] that they have twenty or 
thirty acres ” (p. 6). 

The change in the tempo of life upon leaving the Hollow is 
so great that comparatively few migrants remain outside. 
The fomer school teacher of Needles Hollow, one of the more 
progressive members of the community, sold all his belongings 
and moved to a small West Y^glnia town where he worked in a 



The Effects of Technology 389 

saw mill. A short time later he returned. When asked why he 
came bock: 

" ' Wal, ’ he drawled, *it*s much better here. I gits up in the 
momin’ when I wants and I do what I wants. No gettin’ up 
with a whistle and eating with a whistle here’ ” (p. 100). 

Oakton Hollow is at the head of a diflicult mountain road 
and presents the third step upward in the scale.” Here, 
agriculture is more organized, Ihere is a surplus of apples and 
corn which is traded in the valley. The Hollow has a store and 
post office and nearly every home has a mail-order catalogue, 
Occasional trips are mode to the volley even by the women. 

The tempo of work reflects this increased contact with the 
outside. There is more specialization of work by sex; and the 
men are “more energetic** than in Needles Hollow. Further: 
“The workhabits of Oakton Hollow men who seek employment 
outside the community are regular** (p. 185). The social and 
economic scales are clearer cut &an in the more isolated hollows. 
Wealth is apparently based on having a surplus of goods or 
the outward signs of a surplus'^clothes, the l^d of house one 
can afford, etc.— much as in other parts of rural America. 

But outside work is necessary for a good share of the popula- 
tion. Because of this economic pressure in Needles Hollow 
and because the people have easier access to the valleys, this 
Hollow and Bigby Hollow have lost more of their population by 
migration. 

Bigby Hollow, a compact community connected with the 
valley by a country road, and Briarsville, the small form and 
sawmill town in the valley, show a more complex soci^ and 
economic life, increasingly similar to that in other riural towns 
in different parts of the country. In Briarsville, regular working 
hours are maintained. 

The desires of these people ai'e more numerous and vaHed 
t.hn.Ti of the folk from more isolated hollows. "As the culture 
level rises wonts increase. There is greater striving to satisfy 
additional desires »..”(?• 100). "At each step' upwards the 
wonts of the children showed the influence of the general cul- 
tm*e level and the amount of their information. Wants develop 
only wiiA experience, once demental desires are attained** 102,' 
italics mine). 



390 An Outline of Social Psychology 

Residents of Rigby Hollow and Briarsville originally came, 
for the most part, from the mountains; but now they consider 
themselves more like people outside the mountains. They are 
** more friendly to each other and to strangers and some fam- 
ilies *‘ai'e striving to *pass over* from mountaineers to low^ 
landers’* (p. 7). In BriorsviUe, mountaineers are generally 
disliked. The authors note that the differences to be found 
between these two communities, pai'ticularly Rigby Hollow, 
and the more isolated hollows are not due to differences in 
the quality of land and natural resources, for in this respect, 
“ all four communities ore on an approidmately equal plane. 
Yet because of the use of tools and equipment the output of 
Rigby yields incomes sufficiently large to maintain a standard 
of living far in excess of the tJiree neighboring hollows ** (p. 
187). Thus, it is the impact of modern technology, in the au- 
thors* opinion, which is at the root of these great differences 
between tlie communities. 

Since 1939, when the study of the Hollow folk was made, the 
area has become part of a national park. It would be interesting 
to return to the hollows today to see what changes the impact 
of the outside world has made on the lives and psychology of 
the people. 

Turning now to a country in an entirely different part of the 
world, Japan in the period from 1917 to 1924, we find similar 
differences in bdiavior and experience in residents of commu- 
nities with varying degrees of contact with industrial tech- 
nology. Jones spent four summers among the relatively isolated 
’’mountain folk of Japan” collecting data, by a carefully 
worked-out questionnaire, in 5 districts isolated in varying 
degrees from modern technology And these 5 areas show psy- 
chological differences in the conception of strangers, in stand? 
ords of status, in the aspirations for professions, and in the 
authority of the family. 

As in the Turkish villages and tlie Virginia mountains, we 
find the greatest suspicion of outsiders in the villages with 
least outside contact. The most isolated villagers *' did not like” 

u T. £. Jones, ilfotmtotn f o/ft of Japan, Dootorol Dissertation, on file in the Library 
of Columbia Xlnlvessity, New York, 10^. 



The Effects of Technology ggi 

to call on government officiala for help in managing their own 
affairs. Villagers “more engaged in commerce and in contact 
with the world outside** were more willing to bring their 
problems to government officials. 

“ Shame at having to earn one's living by worVing for wages 
instead of producing one*s own ci-op was strongest in those 
communities little accustomed to the wage and money sys- 
tems** (p. 4B). On the Qih.es hand, in Maki, the district most 
in contact with urban centersi people are more eager to work 
for wa^a. Here is found the “greatest desire to become the 
wealthiest landlord.'* 

As was observed among the Virginia mountaineers, foods, 
dress, and professions are desired “ which have sufficiently en- 
tered into experience to appeal to one as possible to attain” 
(p. 41). Thus, in contrast to members of other communities, 
the villagers in areas where industry (lumber and silk) was 
recently introduced want to be merchants. 

In the most isolated villages, GokanoshS and Tatekoshi, 
the old feudfij ti^e of “Great Pomily** is found. Under this 
system, the individual has Kttie choice in his beJiavior. The 
family council controls matters of discipline. “'Where contact 
with the larger world had been made, its laws and sanctions 
became recogniaed in matters outside the immediate household 
and parents assumed more responsibility for preparing their 
children for the wider somety, Together with the enlargement 
of the social unit came the growth of the concept of personal 
worth’* (p. 110). 

This difference in attitudes and behavior in relation to the . 
family in Japan, as one goes from more to less isolated areas, 
represents a somewhat more complicated phenomenon than 
those mentioned earllei'. Howeyer, there is ample evidence of 
such differences bued on contacts with technology in other 
ports of the world. For example, Hunter reports them in her 
study of the effects of contact on the Fondo of South Ah'ica.^* 
She studied “three distinct sections of the Bantu community,” 
those on reserveSi those on European-owned forma, and those 

, I ’ ' ^ 

^ M. Hunter, io (hnpiut, BJftdt qf CovUtH leiik Europuau en A* posA) ' 

qf SoMlA Afneot Iiondoa: Humphry Mildford, Oxford TJnlveruty Bteai, 1980 . , 



S92 An Outline of Social Psychology 

in towns. ‘'The necessity of paying taxes, the desire to buy 
goods offered by the trader, and the growing land shortage 
which makes it impossible for the community while following 
old methods of agriculture to live on the land, drives men, and 
now also women, to work for Europeans” (p. 5). 

As a result, "The co-operative economic unit, the wmsit is 
decreasing in size. . . . The decrease . . . entails change in 
attitude and behaviour towards kin” (pp. 54&-547). On the re- 
serves, where contact is chieffy through the European-owned 
trading posts, one important change is Uiat "behaviour towards 
father's brothers and their children cannot approximate so 
nearly to behaviour towards own father and own brothers . . 

(p. 50). However, there is much vbiting between relatives. 

On the European-owned farms, where relatives are at some 
distance from each other but where there axe occasional con- 
tacts with the towns, "kinship bonds with relatives . . . are 
weakened. ... On the other hand, the ties binding neighbours 
who live on one farm, and work together are stmng ” (p. 523). 

For the natives who work in towns ns laborers, the umsd has 
broken down completely. The usual household group is that of 
man, wife, and their minor children. That this ^ange is stand- 
ardized is indicated by the fact that tlw words used by these 
ifftsmmen for relatives no longer dij^erentiate between rdatives of 
^e father and of the mother. 

Many other changes have appeared in this latter group in 
particular. It is pertinent for us to note some of the develop- 
ments resulting from this shift to an industrialized commu- 
nity. In the towns in South Africa, Hunter reports the rise 
of a class of industrial workers and gives an example of the 
consequent psychological changes in attitudes: "Hei'e then is 
a Bantu Community living under what approximate to western 
economic conditions. We have the familiar picture of a loi'ge 
number of people dependent entirely upon their wage earnings, 
living in overcrowded insanitary slums. The similar conditions 
breed simitar attUudes. 1 heard two Bantu men talking of tlie 
dangers of allowing women to enter industry and 'take men's 
jobs ' and the advantages of a war in which ' all the unemployed 
would fight and be killed, and the rich men would have to pub 
their hands in their pockets* ** (p. 458, italics mine). 



The Effects of Technology 393 

The comprehensive comparative study by Professor Hed- 
held} The FoiGt GuUute of yuoatdn^ is replete with material 
relevant to our problem of technology and mentality relation- 
ship.” This work brings together "the results of a comparative 
study of four communities chosen to represent points along 
this line of contrast: a village of tribal Indians, a peasant vil- 
lage, a to^vn, and the city " (xv). Ihe four communities ore 
graded in the above order from more isolated to less isolated, 
&om technologically less developed to more developed, &om 
less mobile to more mobile. 

The tribal village, Tusilc, is in the Yucat&n Peninsula of 
Mexico, and has a population of 100 ] it is at a distance of ** three 
days* ride ou a horse or mule** from Chan ICom, the peasant 
village. With only one exception, every man in the village is 
engaged in farming with primitive methods. There are no store- 
keepers, no masons, and no carpenters. **The I'usik people are 
not peasants but a people economically, politically, and socially 
independent of the towns** (p. 67). 

Chan Korn, the peasant village, has a populatipn of 260 
people and is 80 kilometers south of Dzitas, the town that was 
stuped. Chon Kom is at a distance of “a day's walk from 
railroad, in the deep brash,** 'Ihe peasants of Chan Kbm grow 
maize without the benefit of any modem tools. There are a few 
stores in the village, a mason lAo learned his trade in the city, 
and a few men who woi'fc as carpenters and barbers. But ril 
of these men ore formers first. _ , ^ 

Dzitasj 'the town, has a population of about 1,200 and is 
a railway junction for three other towns in that area. Most of 
the transportation from Dzitas is by rail Dzitas is not alto- 
gether agricultural. There are some woodcutters and carters, 
and a few Uockworkers, mechanics, and other, artisans. _ 

The city, Merida, with its rapidly increasing popiilation of 
about 97,000, is the “unchallenged metropohs*'^ of the penin- 
sula in every I’cspect. Merida almost monopolizes within its 
boundaries the industrial developments of Yucatto, It is the 
nerve center of Yucat&n for both transportalion and comniu- 

« B. Redficld, The Folk Culiun of YvooHjw Chicago: University of Chicogo 
1041 . 



394 An Outline of Social Psychology 

nication. Hardly any of the inhabitants are farmers. Merida 
has a relatively high literacy rate. 

'With these graded variations in the degree of isolation and 
technological and economic development* we find, from the 
data presented by. the author* a roughly corresponding grada- 
tion of mentality and behavior. Here we must limit ourselves 
to a few psychological indexes of this trend. 

Concerning kinship ties and family relationships which 
entail various sorts of reciprocal expectations, rights* duties* 
and allegiances* Pedficld concludes: '*As one goes from Tusik 
toward Merida there is to be noted a reduction in the stability 
of the elementary family; a decline in the manifestation of 
patriarchal or matriarchal authority; a disappearance of insti- 
tutions expressing cohesion in the great family; a reduction 
in the strength and importance of respect relationships, espe- 
cially for elder brothers and for elder people generally; an 
increasing vagueness of the conventional outlines of appro- 
priate behavior toward relatives; and a shrinkage in the apphea- 
bility of kinship terms primarily denoting members of the 
elementary family towaii more distant ifiatives or toward 
persona not relatives** (p. ail). 

There is a marked change in the behavior of individuals in 
their commercial relationships. Baling out the sharp contros^ts 
between the extremes, i .e., the tribal village and the city, we find 
that the dififereuce becomes marked even between the town 
and the city. **In Dzitas you may expect to bargain for most 
commodities sold in stores as well as by traveling merchants, 
but in Merida in recent years there has devrioped a conscious 
movement in favor of fixed prices. The movement is probably 
partly a direct reflection of foreign standards and partly a 
response to local conditions: stores have become so large in 
Merida that many clerks ore employed and economic relations 
within them are as a result more impersonal*’ (p, 161). 

Theprogre8sivediffei*entiationof tliesocial and economicfunc- 
tions that groups of individuals carry out is observed by Bedfield 
too. “The differences as to division of labor that appear to the 
author when Tusik, Chan £om, Dzitas, and Merida! are compared 
seem to parallel changes which have occurred in the division of 
labor in the course of recent Western history** (p. 17a), 



The Effects of Technology 395 

Most of such gradations of psychological indexes and others 
axe summarized in the following passage : 

It is in the more isolated vUlai^a that the ways of living exhibit to 
the greatest degree an interrelation of parts ifina r consistency. 
The mode of life of Tusik rather than of Chon Kom, and of Ch nn 
rather than of DzitaSi can^ therefore^ be describe as an organised 
body of conventional understandings. The reference here is not^ easen* 
tioUy, to the fact that in the peripheral communities the habits of 
individual men conform most closely to the customs of the commu- 
nity. This is, of course, also true. In Tusik the outlook on life which 
one man has is very like that of any others making allowances for 
temperamental differences. Even in Chan Eom this may still be said, 
in spite of the differing degree to which influences from the city have 
modified the ideas and practices of individuals. In Dzitas the hetero- 
geneity of mental worlds and of corresponding overt behavior is much 
greater, while in Merida the range of interest, knowledge, belief, and 
general sophistication is so wide that in describing the life of the city 
it is necessary to deal with one social class or interest group at % time, 
and even then general statements as to thoughts and behavior of any 
one of these are more approximate than are corresponding statements 
for the entire aubtribe in Quintana Roo (pi 110). 

Effeots of Technology at a More Complicated Level 

In short, material and technological conditions play a part 
in determining not only relatively simple perceptual scales of 
tima and (^stance, concepts of riches, and the radius of one*a 
world, but also more complicated psychological phenomena. 
The tempo of life and work, the objects desired to satisfy basic 
needs, strivings for status ,(^^4 other sociogenic motives), ex- 
perience, and behavior toward relatives and Mends are seen 
to be affected in a decisive way by the material surrounding 
of the individuals. As we have seen, social nbnmi eithw interi- 
orized as ego-attitudes or imposed from the outside, are factors 
in regulating aiich experience and activity. But especially when 
the individual faces a concrete material situation with which 
the behavior regulated by the prevailing social norms conflicts 
or is at Variance, inadequate, or inappropriate, the matenal 
stimulating conditions can and,' in many cases, do determine' 
the resulting reaction. ^ ^ , 

If we doubt in the least that material conditions may times 



396 An Outline of Social Psychology 

exert an influence more potent than the force of non-material 
stimuli — or ideas — ^we need only examine Lang*8 careful study 
of the changes in Chinese family life with the industrializa- 
tion of that country.^^ Whereas it is true that the ideological 
influence of the West exerts its effect* Long was forced to con- 
clude; “The environment is mainly — ^if not exclusively — 
responsible for the changes among the peasants and workers. 
They have heard very little, if anything, of modem ideas; but 
those who live in industrial cities or in rural disti*icta where 
innovations have taken place and especially those who work in 
modem factories have seen their family life and relations 
changed by industrialization’* 8S7). 

Lang’s surveys showed the reversal of autliority in the 
Chinese family from that of the formerly all-powerful father 
to the now economically independent children. The once- 
honored old fathers, far from being the head of ,tlie family, oxe 
frequently neglected by and ai'e even forced to wait upon 
their children who have entered the modem industiies in 
Shanghai. Even uneducated Chinese women, once kept busy 
at home with housework, now face the outside world in factories 
where they work alongside of men. Besides those who joined 
militant ti'ade unions or the Hed army, Lang found women, 
still in their old surroundings, assuming new attitudes toward 
their position and new behavior patterns. Wives who work in 
factories frequently become head of the family. “ One woman 
explained: *1 have worked in the factory since I was very 
yoimg and 1 know more of the world than my husband, who 
has never left his native village.’ The roles of husband and wife 
were thus reversed. The wife’s sphere of activity was the out- 
side world and the husband’s was the home” !i06). 

Opler records an instance when, because of peculiar material 
conditions, the attitudes of parents toward their ohildi'en 
changed radically. The Spanish frontiersmen introduced the 
horse to the Southern XJte of Colorado — a material innovation 
which became vital in the TJte’s activities directed toward 
earning a living. They demanded a payment in meat and hides 
which was prohibitive to the Indians. So “ during the period of 
early contact,” the Ute hit upon another form of payment^ 

^ 0. Iiong. Chintae Famity and Sooieiyt New Haven: Yale Univeraity Pxcie, 1046. 



Tile Effects of Tedmology 397 

trading their children for horses. Such a practice “was not 
characteristic of the early family organization." 

It is a well-lcnown fact that the number of children bom in 
recent times has fallen off considei^ably witli the coming of 
modem industrialization and the rise of great cities. An inter- 
esting ramification of this general fact is the finding that the 
birth rate in mral communities more recently mechanized and 
exposed to modem technology is now declining at a greater 
rate than that of the cities. A survey of farm populations made 
in 1931 showed a surprising change from the older rural atti- 
tude toward having a faz^y. The large majority of people 
questioned advocated birth control.'^ Kolb and Brunner see 
this as directly related to the increasing mechanization of 
agriculture which makes the labor of children less valuable. 

With the impact of modem technology and its products, 
prestige and status symbols change, and hence the ways and 
means of acquiring status. For example, a short time after 
modem goods and technological products were introduced 
among the Alkatcho Carrier of British Columbia, the posses- 
sion and lavish display of these goods became ** symbols of 
social prestige. For example, only one Indian at Alkatcho 
sleeps in a spring b^; but the possession of a spring bed os a 
display item is a fiw qua, no7i of social status. Phonographs, 
chairs, tables, and milled lumber serve the same purpose.”" 
Similoi'ly, while lavish giving was formerly the means of gaining 
status among the Muganda of Africa and the amount of land 
owned was not an essential re^ence point for judging status, 
in recent times, particularly with the intioductioa of a mon^ 
economy, the ownership of land and a house with a corrugated 
iron roof and doors has become the goal of status striving." ^ 

In their keen observation of America’s Middletown in transit 
tion, the Lynds noted how the advance of technology creates 
status and hence ego problems for the individuals caught in 


« M. K. OplflP, ** The Southorn UU 0$ Colorado,” in R. I±Dton (ad.), jieouKimitiro 
Sfitan American Indian Tribu, Now York; Applehni'Ceoturyi IMO, cJwp. 8, p. U0. 

» J. H. IColb And E. de S. Bnianer, A Slvdy iff Jtwal Soeutjfi lie Organmtim and 

Doatoa: Houghton Mifflin, 1088. - 

M I.Golfim»n, "Thtt AlkaUdioConm of BritUhCoIuiobia, la A. LuUoa (M.), . 




308 An Outline of SopiaJ Psychology 

the trend. **Meanwhilei os technology ndds more and more 
* improved modem ways/ the distance between what different 
sections of Middletown’s population do becomes wider. ... In 
a world where everybody heated his house by stove and no- 
body had running hot and cold water, the lack of these things 
prompted no social differences, no sense of inadequacy of the 
family that could ’ afford ’ nothing better, no caustic remarks 
by wife and children about the husband’s meager wages. In 
such widening disparities in the performance of man’s age- 
old tasks lies one of the most characteristic sources of minor 
tension in Middletown’s culture.” ^ 

As we have seen in the studies of the Hollow folk and Japa- 
nese mountain people, technology may determine not only status 
strivings and aspirations and other sociogenic motives, but 
even the regulation and goals of the basic needs. Thus, the 
recent war brought unimagined work aspirations to the South 
Sea islanders and a ** host of new wants,” many related to a 
fuller satisfaction of man’s basic needs.*^ The Ozark families 
transplanted to the modem industnal city of St. Louis come to 
prefer bakery sweets to their com bread and hot biscuits,” 
And to the landowner among the Baganda of Africa who has 
hod a taste of city life, country life and all of its ways seems 
dull, whereas the standards, ways, and goals of the city ore bU 
desirable,” 

There is considerable evidence that some of the characteristic 
behavior patterns which psychologists have called ** traits ” and 
which are otherwise often considered just so much humane 
nature are changed by material conditions in a society. Lewis’ 
historical study of the effects of white contact on Blackfoot 
culture) for example, traces the effects of the introduction of 
the horse, gun, and fur trade upon the warfare of these Plains 
Indians.” The study makes clear that warfare changed, espe- 

B. S> I^d and H. M. Lynd, idddlelom in TranriHmt New Yoric: Harcourt, 
BxBce, 1097, p, 107. 

^ F, M. KoGrin^ Th$ South Seat in i/to Modem WoHd, New York: John Day, 
rev. cd., 1(I4S. 

** S. D. Queen and L. F. Thomea, The City, A 8iud^ qf Urianiam tit ike Uniied 
Statoi, New York: MoGcaw-Eill. 1080. 

** Mnir, op, eit. 

* 0. L^a, The effecti of White contact upon Blaokfoot culture, 3fonopr. Amor, 
Efhnolog. 8oe„ 1043, t>> 



The Effects of Technology S99 

cially with the coming of the for trade* from concerted action 
of the tribe motivated chiefly by the desire to defend and ex- 
pand tribal hunting grounds to frequent, small raiding parties 
carried out with secrecy and stealth for the purpose of 8ecu> 
ing the horses and guns which had become so vital to their 
pursuit of the fur trade. The Blackfoot had no " war complex ** 
—the acquisition of their warlike aggressive attitudes can be 
traced in historic times. A similar change occurred among the 
Southern ITte of Colorado. Whereas war among the Ute had 
been mere localized defense of one’s kin/* it became a means 
of enriching the entire bond. “The mobility afforded the TJte 
band by the introduction of the horse led to a type of warfare 
motivated socially by a desire to loot/* With this change, the 
qualifleations for leadership changed. To be a camp leader now, 
a man had to prove ius worth as a daring scout and wise organ- 
izer. The most popular camp leaders were those “who called 
out most often that tonight they danced and tomorrow they 
raided.” » 

Even within the lifetime of individuals, such changes in 
personal chai'octeristics have occurred with changes in material 
conditions. Pointing out the difference between the “ traits ** of 
truck farmers with freciuent contacts with the city, and .the 
Southern Highlander whose contacts with the “outside** are 
“few and far between," Kolb and Brunnesr cite the case of one 
former whose ideas changed in' the apace of ten, years, chiefly 
because of the difficulties involved in the increasing t^dency 
toward one-crop farming* “The farmer who declared in 1984, 
when asked to join a flourishing, co-operative, ‘1*11 be bilked 
if anybody's going to tell me when to sell my berries,* was 
voicing the virile individualism that had characterized his for- 
bears for three centuries in thdr struggle’against the wildemess 
and the sea. The same man when he capitulated to co- 
operative in 1904 had changed none of his innate, ^inherited 
characteristics. He was simply bowing to experience." « ^ 

Even the total conception of personal identity c^ges wito 
chancing material and technological conditions. One of the 
most^etrating analyses of the effect of the mode of produc- 

•• Opler, op. oit., pp> ISi-iao. 

* Kolb and Brnnnor, op* P* 



400 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tiou, ownership> and the appropriate social organization on per- 
sonal identity is presented in Promm's Escape from Freedom,^^ 
During the Mddle Ages, dominated by a feudal system and the 
all-embracing Church, the majority of people in Europe, the 
serfs, were wretchedly poor and hardly able to maintain a sub- 
sistence level of living. They had no clear experience of them- 
selves as distinct individuals. Yet in their role as part of the 
feudal organization and cliildren of an all-embracing Church, 
they had psychologically the experience of security and soli- 
darity. "Medieval society did not deprive the individual of his 
f^edom, because the 'individual* did not yet exist; man was 
still related to the world by primary ties. He did not yet con- 
ceive of himself as an individual except through the m^ium of 
his social (which then was also his natural) role. He did not 
conceive of any other persons as 'individuals* either** (p. 4S). 

As the feudal system broke down, various religious formations 
independent of the Church arose (Protestantism) and national 
states were formed. As the industrial revolution, based on a 
private ownership system, created a newly propertied and 
strengthened bourgeois class, fundamental changes were 
brought about in the psychological picture. As a rising capitalist 
or hourgeois or worker whose labor became a property to 
be hired by the owning class, the individual came to expei'ience 
his indiiMuality. But in turn, owing to the highly competitive 
nature of the capitalist mode of ownership and the profound 
changes necessitated by it in social organization and human 
relationships, the new individuality was inevitably accom- 
panied by the experience of insecurity^ insignificance, and 
aloneness. "'While competition was certainly not completely 
lacking in medieval society, the feudal economic system was 
based on the principle of co-operation and was regulated — or 
regimented — by rules which curbed competition. With the rise 
of capitalism these medieval principles gave way more and 
more to a principle of individualistic enterprise. Each indi- 
vidual must go ahead and try his luck. He had to swim or to 
sink. Others were not allied with him in a common enterprise, 
they became competitors, and often he was confronted widi the 
choice of destroying them or being destroyed** (p. 61). 

** E. Fromm, Ewa]f» /ron Fttedom, Now York: Amehart, 1041, 



Men in Critical Sitaaticns 


THIS MAIN THBUB OF THB COUFLICATFU) TOPIC OF THIS CHAPTER 
may be summarized in a few paragraphs. Qitical situations, 
os represented by eonditioos of prolonged deprivation, in- 
security, or some other hind of crisis, tei^ to break down, in 
vaiying degrees, the established attitudes and modes of social 
behavior regulated by them. It has been shown time and again 
that, under the impact of criais, men become unusually sus- 
ceptible to the acceptance of new formulations, whether or not 
these new formulations afford objective and lasting solutions. 
This fact is usually referred to as the increased suggestibility of 
the individual in critical situations. jEkom Le Bon on, authors 
dealing with collective behaTuor have given detailed deacrip- 
tions of the heightened *'suggestibiUty and credulity of 
crowds.** ^ Under such critical conditions, men are moved to 
behave in ways which deviate markedly tirom the customarily 
expected modes of reoctions prescribed by the prevailing norms 
of the social setting in question. Out-of-the-ordinary behavior 
thus produced, eidiibiling itself in extreme forms of, say, Uc^- 
tiousness, sadism, or, conversely, in self-sacrifice or heroism, 
(on the battle fidd, for example), has been described in Ca- 
rnatic t^ms by various authors. TWe is danger, in our opinion^ 
in stressing only the dramatic aspiect of behavior in crisis iritua- 
tions. The analysis has to be extended longitudinally to in- 
clude the consequences of the prolonged critical situations as ' 
well a$ the underlying conditions. If critical condition, which 
may involve deprivationa such as hunger, insecurity con- 
cerning one*s status or one’s very identity, etc., are prolonged 
and affect masses pf people, the result in the long run ia.not 

1 See, for ejiamplo, G. Le Bon, Th Grovd, London: T. Kslier Umrin, lftl4 Maa, 

pp. 8i 9. and ff. 


402 An Outline of Social Psychology 

chaos or perpetual continuation of extreme modes of behaylor» , 
but the rise and standardization of new norms of human 
relationships and conduct. To toss around in the unstable 
fluidity of crisis is painfuh especially alter the iniHal stage of 
excitement has subsided. Han has to relate himself to his 
fellow men and to nature aroimd him in some sort of estab- 
lished order. He tends to cony out the urgent business of living 
within the framework afforded by some relatively stable con- 
stellation of relationships. What we know from the psychol- 
ogy of ego development and ego functioning leads us to posit 
the hypothesis that man strives to anchor himself securely 
within a frame of human and natural relationships; that on 
established constellation of such relationships is basis of 
his personal identity; that his feeling of security* his freedom 
from anxiety depend primarily on being stably placed and on 
his experience in such a constdlation of relationships (Chapters 
11 and 18), 

The psychological aspect of the tendency of a crisis situa- 
tion to stabilize is the standardization oil a new set of values 
which, in time, come to be established as the regulators of the 
new order of things. A ghmce at any revolution, successful or 
not, will convince one that it is the end product of more or 
less widespread critical tension experienced and shared by at 
least a port of the population. In revolutionary situations, 
besides wholesale indictments of things opposed by the aroused 
group, there invariably arises a set of crystallizations embodied 
in appropriate slogans which express the cherished values of the 
proposed order. Of course, this does not mean that the values 
and norms embodied in slogans of a social upheaval will 
always bring about lasting stability. They may be solutions or 
values arrived at by powerful demagogues, os in the cose of a 
Mussolini or a Hitler. In such cases, of course, the crisis situa- 
tions take new forma and even become intensified when viewed 
in a long-range perspective. Or, in terms of single individuals, 
such precarious solutions may reduce the individual to a mere 
automaton or to a regressed in&ntile level. iFor example, in- 
dividuals under the stress of chaotic conditions and precarious 
day-to-day existence may seek the protection and security 
promised by an all-powerful leader like Htler, thus reducing 



Men in Critical Situations 403 


themselves to mere automatons. In such cases, existence and 
security are obtained at the cost of individual autonomy.* 
Henceforth, the values of the individual are handed down by the 
authoritarian leader. Security achieved through this kind of 
submission is not, as we have seen, conducive to the formation 
of on autonomous ego, whidb. is achieved through the personas 
own experiences in interpei'sonal and group relationsmps (see 
pp, 85^59). A ti'Ogic case of striving to o^ieve some sort of 
security under extreme situations of frustration and oppression 
waa reported recently by Beitelheim.’ Prisoners in Nazi con- 
centration comps, after the initial shock of their internment 
had subsided, resorted to vartoua devices to preserve intact the 
identity of their normally established egos. But under the con- 
stant, systematic action of the guards to break them down 
through coercive measures and deprivations, the prisoners did 
eventually go to pieces, exhibiting individual differences in the 
rate of disintegration. They regressed to a childish level of be- 
havior. T.iIta nhil flren, the temporal and spatial scope of their 
psychological world became restricted to the immediate situa- 
tion, with its momentary satisfoctioris and frustiations. But 
even at the regressed level of functioning, th^ did strive to 
achieve some security. They developed a “childlike depend- 
ence*’ on their guards. And os a corollary bf this, the values of 
the guards and of the Gestapo became their values. TJey 
resented fellow prisoners who still tried to behave in ternis of 
the values and relationships of the world outside, tn this new 
atmosphere of childlike behavior, those who still resisted tie 
breakdown of their former selves were accused of endangering 

the security of the group. ^ , u 

The great deprivations and frustrations experienced by 
masses of people, rendering them highly restless, emited, and 
determined to resolve the tension, the crystallizatira of or- 
ganized leadership witii the solutions and slogans it offers, and 
Bie subsequent uprisings, with various degrees of grim eonsfc- 
quences and, at times, the overthrow of the old organization 
and values (as in the American, French, tad Ruasian revohi- 


• B. Ppomm. Euaptfrom Frtedwn, Nev York; moahort, 10 «, , 

• B. Bettdheiin, Individud and ana behavior lU «atreme aituationi, J. dim . « Sot. 

PtyM, IMS. 88, 417-488. 



404 An Outline of Social Psychology 

tions) afford illustrations par exceUenc$ of collective behavior 
of men in critical situations. But such great crises and upheavals 
are so complex, and conditions fluctuate thiougli so many 
decades of time, that it will be safer to start with incidents 
which take place within a more easily specifiable and shorter 
time span. 

Behavior in Critical 3H'uation8 

Ours is a period of great mass deprivation and insecurity 
owing to prolonged unemployment, tiie most catastrophic of 
all wars in human history, economic and political unrest, etc. 
The bitter products are hunger, lack of shelter and fuel, and a 
prevailing sense of insecurity and anxiety in all nations through- 
out the world today. Of course, an adequate analysis of the 
situation itself goes far beyond the bounds of psychology. 
We can, as psychologists, deal only in terms of the effects on 
the individuals and their subsequent reactions to them. In short, 
these circumstances are changing men; and men, in turn, are 
changing the course of society. Even in less tempestuous times 
and societies human deprivation is an important factor in 
bringing about culture change. This is apparent in the recently 
accumtdating accounts of ethnologists. Por example, Linton 
concludes, on the basis of detailed study of various tribes 
in the process of transition: **Imperfections of cultural adapta- 
tions result in individual discomforts and dissatisfaction and 
these, in turn, provide the motives for culture change.” ♦ 

In our day the crisis, in its various phases, is so sharp that 
one does not have to look in a longitucUnal way to observe the 
unmistakable facts of collective unrest and collective action. 
The newspaper dispatches and on-the-spot radio broadcasts 
from various ports of the world almost constantly report some 
such conditions as: ”The specter of hunger that stalks Europe 
has given rise to many ‘food riots* from Germany to Italy and 
from Ernnce to the Balkans.” * "Ruhr's 800,000 coal miners 
walk out with the slogan ‘Fight the War Against Hunger,* ** 

* B. Linton. AeoHUitration in Stvtn Avuriem Indian Tribes, New York: Appleton- 
Century, KMO. p. 407. 

* New York Times Magasiw, ISay 80. 1047. 




IfiiiCRaMaR*! Nmu Pholt 


Fiq. dQ. Meu deprivations hn* 
pel people to collective unrest. 




IttlvnaHMil Ifwfheto 


Fio. SO. Mass movemenU cut 
across age levels. 



Men in Critical Situations 405 

whUe “German Youtis Riot for Pood.” * Hundreds of similar 
cases could be cited. 

The specter of hunger Jcnowa no boundaries. We see it in 
Austria where the strikers carry a huge self-explanatory poster. 
(Pig. 20.) The unrest and the inevitable collective protest 
strike all age levels os well as national boundaries. In Fig. 30 
we see aged Parisian women demonstrating for more bread. 
In such times of frustration and disorder, the behavior of 
ordinarily civilized individuala regresses collectively to the unin- 
hibited instinctual level. Several news correspondents accom- 
panying the advandiig American armies in early 1045 reported 
mass looting of fuel and food by the ordinarily well-disciplined 
German civilians.^ When the German city of Essen fell in 
April, 1045, the troops “found the streets full of drunken 
civilians.** * These are only samples. The collective unrest and 
action resulting from hunger and frustration, , the widespread 
strikes of workei's who cannot make ends meet with the wages 
they get, can be multiplied indefinitely. 

In critical times of danger and suspense, as during the tense 
period of an approaching or actual war, or life \xnd& an eJiemy 
power, or defeat, feelings of security, become so precarious, 
nerves so jumpy, that even relatively minor incidents (which 
miglit be taken for granted in more stable tim») may be suffi- 
cient to create collective panic and. disorder. Many incidents of 
collective panic ore reported from present-day occupied Ger- 
many. We shall take our illustration from an ^together difier- 
ent part of the world. 

In the tense and unsettled atmosphere of Japan today, a , 
false radio announcement of the approach of a sea monster 
recently upset the people of ,To^o. "Tokyo was thro^ into 
an uproar early tonight when a series of , radio bulletins an- 
nounced that a 20-foot-hi^ sea monster was advancing into the , 
center of the city. . , i Japanese police put out an alarm through 
all police boxes between here CTokyo] and Yokohama. The 
number of Japanese telephoning for confirmation or denial was < 

• New York HtraH rrOwi^ April S asd 8, 1947. ■ - . 

T ]?0r example, see lohe Mecklin'i reports to the aevspsper PM during March sod 

April. 1046. 

* New York TimeSt April 18, 1046. 



406 An Outline of Social Psychology 

estiinated in the thousands.” ° Such panic behavior is not the 
peculiarity of the Japanese psychology alone. During the tense 
days preceding World War 1I> thousands of people in the 
New York area were thrown into mass hysteria by Orson 
Welles’ realistic radio presentation of H. G. Wells’ play de- 
picting an imaginary invasion by Martians. Right after the 
explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, some of the sur- 
vivors tried to find refuge in a park. When it started to rain, 
a panic spi*ead like wildfire: ^‘The Ameiicans are dropping 
gasoline. They’re going to set fire to us!”^® Similarly, the 
“flying disks” in the sky reported widely throughout the 
United States in the summer of 1947 coincided witli the cur- 
rent intensification of war talk. 

In considering the effect of prolonged deprivations and sus- 
pended anxieties in bringing about mass unrest and action, 
we as social psychologists must keep in mind the following sig- 
nificant facts ^at we have already encountered in our discus- 
sion of motivatioii and ego psydiology: 

1. A major impKcation for our present problem is the cyclical 
or periodic nature of basic needs. We are referring here, again, 
to the differential periodicity of the functioning of the biogenic 
needs. One has to breathe cyclically. One has to cat, drink, and 
sleep penodically. The periodicity of the different needs varies 
temporally. This may be seen by comparing the relatively short 
hunger circle with that of sex. The need cydes ore, of course, 
subject within limits to cultural variations. But no culture can 
regulate eating, di'inkiug, or sleeping so that they will take 
place, say, a week apart. As the doily papers ore stressing nowa- 
days, hunger cannot wait. Of course, we are aware that the 
whole organism may be gripped by whatever motive is suffer- 
ing the greatest deprivation at the time. 

Especially in modern differentiated societies, we are ab- 
solutely dependent on the smooth functioning of the services of 
other individuals and groups for the satisfaction of certain 
essential needs. Except for the air we breathe and, in rural 
areas, the water to drink, we are dependent on others for 
food, fuel, and shelter, especially in cities. Consequently, the 

* Balpb Chiipxniui, m thd Nta Yorh Herald TAbuno, May 80, 1617. 

J. Heney, Bin^ina, Nsrv York: Knopf, 1040, p, Si. 



Men in Critical Situations 407 

great social issu^ inherent in mass deprivation and its eflFects 
nppeM m obtaining the goal objects (food. fuel, shelter, etc.) for 
which we ore d^endent on social organization and collective 
labor. It IS ™ aituotions that bring about prolonged depriva- 
tion of food, md, shelter, and the like and that threaten masses 
of people stmuUan^sly, whidi me particularly conducive to 
the emergence of direct mass action. And such mass action in- 
volves a crystallization of some sort of group structure embody- 
ing the leader-member relationship and supra-individual 
properties peculiar to the group, (See the discussion of the 
properties of groups in Chapter 5.) 

Since a.shortoge of such essentials os food and fuel affects 
people simultaneously, there tend to spring up collective 
groupings of people with a common goal, impelled to meet 
the situation in some way. Many concrete examples of this 
result of simultaneous deprivation can be found in the present- 
day world. At present, politicians seein fully to realize this 
fact and its realistic implicationa. The same immediate' need 
for collective action cannot be posited for out-of-phose dep- 
rivations and frustrations suffered by single, individuals in 
the course of their life. However, these individually sustained 
frustrations may drive people to be social dissidents or radicals 
and thus, in their turn, eventually contribute tbeir share in 
effecting social change. 

3 . Another important area for special consideration by the 
social psychologist is the situations of danger, the breakdown of 
the established material and cultural moorings of the existing ' 
society in which the individual is placed. Situations ofmoss un- 
employment such os the world at large faced in the -lOSO’sj the 
threat of invasion or air raids, the widespread suspense esi^eri-' 
diced by millions of people before a war, -or a thr^t of loosing 
firmly established interests and ways of life are illustrations of 
the point. In all of these situations, thousands and even mil- 
lions of people face the same frte aimulianeously, Facing such. 
situations in common, people cannot help sharing their expe- 
rience, and this sometimes leads them to collective action*: of 
varying proportions. Of course, there are situations in. which 
individually we face real or fancied dangers. If these individual 
cases ore numerous, they eventually have on impact on the life 



408 An Outiine of Social Psychology 

of the community! But as social psychologists, it is our con* 
cern to note the impact of dauger and insecurity which descend 
upon masses of people simultaneously. 

The illustrations of behavior in critical situations reported in 
the preceding pages and the statements made in connection with 
them were, on the whole, rather general. We need better-con- 
trolled observations and a more specific conceptualization of 
the topic, with a view to extracting a minimum of essential 
features common to behavior in aU critical situations. Only 
after extending our observations to a more precise level can we 
find out if the essentials also operate in full-scale crisis situa- 
tions as represented by social movements — of course always 
being sufficiently open-minded to recognize the wealth of special 
factors entering into each particular case. 

Unfortunate^, controlled observations of behavior in crisis 
situations are in their initial stages and are consequently scanty. 
Therefore, we shall have to derive our leads in large pari from 
what we have already leiu-ned in the discussion of deprivations 
(pp. 75-00) and insecurities (pp. 124-138) and their effects on 
group behavior. 

As was fully discussed earlier, the individual undergoing 
some deprivation tends to be preoccupied with securing the 
goal objects he is deprived of His pei'ceptions, memories, 
imagination, and, if circumstances permit, his actions ore all 
colored accordingly. In cases in which positive action leading 
to the primary goals is bori'ed by circumstances, a pei’son usu- 
ally indulges in individual or collective “substitutivo activi- 
ties'* which may, at times, acquire pathological features. 
Itesort, individually, to various kinds of fantasies or to fate-like 
resignarion, and refuge, collecrively, in bizarre cults, seels, or 
artistic ventures ore examples. If the deprivation continues be- 
yond certain limits, it so 'dominates the individual that the 
socially established level of attitude and behavior breaks down; 
that is, the experience and conduct regulated by moral values, 
observance of civilized codes, and etiquette are obliterated. 
For example, in the hungry, destitute Europe of today, the 
principles ordinarily observed in making a living no longer 
operate for large sections of the population. The only concern is 



Men in Critical Situations 409 


to survive at any cost — “and tkere is no reason to be fussy 
about how you do it.** ** Semi-storved individuids have no 
qualms about licking the plates from which they ate their 
precious food, on act which would ordinarily shock people (pp. 
76-82). Even such a fundamental psychological localization 
as the passage of time may be impaired.” 

As we have stressed several times, the breakdown of estab- 
lished material and social moorings is painful for individuals 
whose psychological functioning on a higher cerebral level is 
not impaired to any ejrtent. As several studies indicate* the 
tendency is to reestablish oneself with some degree of stability 
in a re^ or fancied way. Especially if individuals facing an 
unfortunate common lot are situated so that they can inter- 
act as a group, there invariably arises some sort of group struc- 
ture determined by the peculiarities of the circumstances. 
Such group formations give the members a basis for an estab- 
lished identity, and a course of action directed toward re- 
lieving tlieir deprivations and amdeties, as the case may be* 
within the framework of the newly em^ging group. Sponta- 
neous group formations embodying some form of atatus hier- 
archy and mutual loyalties and responsibilities amoiig the 
down-trodden, wretched, and outcast demonstrate liis fact, 
even though they may be precarious structures and may appear 
amorphous h'om outside. 

Tile more usual and consequential outcome in chaotic times 
is that many people are compellingly attracted by the formula^ 
tioiis or slogans of the leaders of organized groups. These are the 
times when wretched unstable people turn to the crystalliza- 
tions of the pressure groups, even though at times their appeid 
may be merely demagogic. (TOs may give a due to the myriad 

cults now flourishing.) - . . 

Unfortunately, direct evidence based on cantroUed observa- 
tions is still wanting. However, some representotive observations 
on individuals experiencing deprivation and insecurity concern- 
ing in-group and out-group delineations, and the amtudes that 
result from them, give substantial justification to oiir hypothesis. 


** TkU We^ Auguit 10, 1047, p, 17. ' ^ ■ 

» P. Elienberg wd P. F* iMurfdd, The peydiolo^ effecU of unmrioynieak, 

PffgaAoJ, W., 1088, 86, p. 8W, 



410 


An Outline of Social Psychology 


One telling line of evidence is the spontaneous formation of 
gangs consisting largely of youngsters who have been de- 
prived of many essentials of life and of security because of broken 
or unsettled families and brought up in the interstitial areas 
of great cities. It has been found time and again that children 
who from early infancy ore subjected to basic deprivations and 
do not succeed in establishing stable roots in established society 
gravitate toward each other, form more or less well-structured 
gi'oups with a hierarchy of definite leadership-membership 
roles, and follow the dictates of group action, at times in the face 
of great hazards. It is from their membership in these groups as 
leaders or followers that they derive their sense of security and 
seek the satisfaction of their needs that is otherwise denied 
them. The frustrating conditions and unstable fiuidity of the 
slum areas of great cities are conducive to such group formations 
and to action which occasionally leads to various kinds of riots. 
In an extensive survey of such group formations and activities 
in various cities, Shaw and McKay reached the conclusion that 
they ore products of the operation of general processes more 
or less common to Ameiican citi^.** 

The crisis situation that many adolescmit boys (and girls) 
face as a consequence of being neither child nor adult and 
the, to them, hostHe infringements of the adult world lead many 
of them to seelc stability and satisfaction in the intimacy of 
groups spontaneously fonned with kindred souls. As can be 
seen from so many newspaper reports, these youthful groups 
may turn to wildness. 

The rise of strong in-group feelings and hostility towards 
others is well demonstrated in the controlled study of starva- 
tion reported earlier at some length (pp; '76-%S(), Oui'iug the 
starvation period, in-group dcmai'cations developed which ex- 
cluded both non-starving friends and the laboratory personnel 
— in short, all those not on a restricted diet. The hostility 
toward outsiders is evident in this typical observation: 

Onemon commented in a letter to a friend, **Vm so hungry I could 
eat anydiing, but I'd start on the fat staff first." The men were 
annoy^ at seeing the staff eat their lunches, and were still more 

** C. B. Shaw and H. D. ULoKtiy, Juunilt Delinqumoy and Urban Artaf, Chicago: 
Unlveralty of Chicago Presf, X94S. p. 48S. 



Men m Critical Situatious 


411 


aimoyedjAen fte sM tried to conceal the fact that they were 
eatmg- he eat. fat, hidag hia lunch, while the aroma from his 
orange still permeated the air. 


A clear-cut illustration of in-group feelings aroused toward 
those who share a common experience and hostility toward 
n situation is reported by Sears, Hovland, 

and Miller.w These investigators observed the reactions of six 
university students to a variety of frustrating situations during 
the last IS hours of a S4-houT period of sleep deprivation. The 
frustrating situations were as follows : At midnight, smoking by 
the subjects was prohibited, although the experimenters con- 
tinued to smoke in their presence. An experimenter who was to 
, have brought games and cards for their diversion at midnight 
appeared at 3 a.m. but had "forgotten” the games. An inter- 
esting discussion among the subjects was interrupted with a 
pei'iod of enforced silence. When ihe subjects requested food, 
they were told that a hot breakfast would be served at 5 a.m,; 
but the experimenter who went for the food fWled to return. 

These frustrating situations, endured collectively by the 
sleep-deprived subjects, encouraged the formation of an in- 
group from which the expiramenters were excluded. "Whereas 
there were only one or two instances of aggressive behavior 
witliin the grolip in the form of "socially acceptable jokes and 
wisGcrooka,” hhe "aggression which all subjects showed was 
directed largely at the ^s ^experimenters]." ."Aggression 
toward the was manifested by quite overt remarks, many 
of them in the form of accusatory questions asked in a hard, un- 
friendly tone" (p. ^78): For example, toward the end of the 
experiment, the following remarks were recorded: 

A.i^. *Are, all payoholoffisis madF* *Tkey*re aU queer, 
Fve been W 0 ftching*m for a couple of hows, * ,,• 

**5:S0a.U. (One 8 addressed an as *Doctor*) ^DonHcaU him 
Dooton yo^ must be a freehman* (Mumbling agreement from 
other 5*s)i" (p. 280). 

One aggressive activity, ca^ed out by the *^most oiit- , 

^ H. S. Gubtikow sod P« H. Boviiun, jfen Bimgar, Elgni HI** BxtUinn PnV 

luhlng HoiucTiS 40, pp. 80, SB. . 

E. B. Soul, C» I. Hovland, and N< £. Miller, Minor itudlea ol nggtesoiGFD: 1 
Mooauremen^ ag^rea^e bdmvior, J.'Ptyohol,, 1040» 9, S77-S81. 



412 An Outiine of Social Psychology 

spokenly aggressive*’ subject hut shared by all, is the spon^ 
teneous drawing reproduced in Fig. 31. These sketches were 
passed around among the subjects who all laughed heartily at 
them. When the artist was asked what they represented, he 
replied: P^chologuis*' 

If the experiment had been continued with no time limit, 
we believe that the in-group formation would have become 
even more clearly delineated, hostility toward those in author- 
ity would have increesed — ^probably bi*ealdng down completely 
the established norms of respect regulating the professor-stu- 
dent relationship — and group action directed toward escaping 
from the frustrating situation would eventually have been 
taken. 


Gryatalllzatloii of New Values In Great Social Movements 

Especially in our times, societies are for from being static 
patterns or closed systems. As a consequence of many faCtors~ 
the introduction of new technological developments which 
sooner or later are reflected in new modes of ■huiimii relation- 
ships; the contacts with and even onslaughts, of other social 
systems and cultures which become inevitable whether culture 
purists like it or not; the inescapable cross di^’usion of ideol- 
ogies; and the catastrophic consequences of war^ — societies are 
in the process of rapid change. In the prccedhig chaptei' we 
touched upon one aspect of lie problem. 

The periods of great social movements, like the rise of a 
propertied bourgeois class, the tise of modern industrialism, the 
Eenaissance, the Beformation, various revolutions, are, it is 
safe to say, the periods of the greatest tempo of social change. 
It is at th^e times that new values appear, spread, < and become 
crystallized to regulate the newly established ordAr of human 
relationships. \ 

An adequate account of the conditions that uiiderlic the 
great social revolutions and the behavior of men in Ahem holds 
tile promise of revealing to us the major variables i civolved in 
the psychology of social change. This rather higl ly geneial 
statement has its basis, psychologically, in the result s of recent 
controlled expei'iments. The verified findings of tlie studies in 
the past decade or so indicate that the acceptance oi ' new ideas 




tH« of HFffCTwW 

Fia. 81. Spontaaeous drawings reyealiag the hostility aroused in a depriva* 
tion situation. (From B< Searsi C. L &)vlaQd, and N. F}. Mfllcri'in J, 
Payahol,, 1840. 8. 870HZO5. 


414 An Outline of Social Psychology 

and values is substantially enhanced by the instability, fluidity, 
and vagueness of the situations that the individuals face, and by 
the failure of the individuals* existing frames of refei'ence to 
cover the new situation. This pei'cept